Sample ballot for the August 2015 Top Two Election
Sample ballot for the August 2015 Top Two Election

Read­ers, a reminder that today is the last day of the August 2015 Top Two Elec­tion, the elim­i­na­tion round of our dys­func­tion­al two-part gen­er­al elec­tion system.

Bal­lots must be post­marked or returned by a drop box by 8 PM tonight, or they won’t count. Be sure yours is in, and then remind friends and fam­i­ly to vote, too. Chances are, many of them haven’t. Don’t assume — ask!

Par­tic­i­pa­tion so far in this elec­tion has been utter­ly abysmal, with turnout well below twen­ty per­cent statewide, and even worse than that in the state’s three biggest coun­ties, which account for around two-thirds of the population.

  • In King Coun­ty, turnout cracked 15% last night
  • Sno­homish is at 13.8%
  • Pierce is at 12.3% (worst in the state!)

Aver­age statewide turnout is cur­rent­ly 16.2%, far below Sec­re­tary of State Kim Wyman’s pre­dic­tion of twen­ty-six per­cent (which itself is very low).

Dou­glas Coun­ty cur­rent­ly has the best turnout, with 46% of three hun­dred and twen­ty-two vot­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing. (Only a frac­tion of the elec­torate were sent bal­lots; most of the coun­ty does­n’t have a Top Two election).

Tiny Garfield Coun­ty has the sec­ond best turnout, with over 37% of 1,522 vot­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing. Pacif­ic Coun­ty, home to com­mu­ni­ties like Long Beach and Ilwa­co, is in third place with 35% turnout. How­ev­er, only five hun­dred and six­ty-three of Paci­fic’s vot­ers have a Top Two elec­tion this year.

The team at NPI urges you to be a vot­er and get your bal­lot in. If you would like to use a drop box to return your bal­lot, here is a list of loca­tions for major counties:

Need help vot­ing? NPI does­n’t endorse or rate can­di­dates for office, but the Pro­gres­sive Voter’s Guide is avail­able if you want to learn more about who’s on your bal­lot. You can also use the offi­cial voter’s pam­phlet pub­lished by your county.

Start­ing tonight, after 8 PM, we will be offer­ing live cov­er­age of elec­tion results here on the Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate. Most coun­ties will only report one batch of results tonight, and not update again till tomor­row afternoon.

The top race we’re watch­ing is the “beau­ty con­test” in the 30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict between Demo­c­rat Car­ol Gre­go­ry and Repub­li­can Teri Hickel.

Gre­go­ry and Hick­el are each guar­an­teed a spot on the Novem­ber 2015 bal­lot because they were the only ones to file. They nev­er­the­less appear on the August Top Two bal­lot because the posi­tion of state rep­re­sen­ta­tive is par­ti­san, and state-lev­el par­ti­san races always appear on the Top Two ballot.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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