A reminder to all Cascadia Advocate readers who live in Washington that today is Election Day! Tonight, at 8 PM, is the the deadline to return ballots in the first of two special election periods scheduled to be held this year.
We really ought to do away with special elections altogether and save a lot of money and grief by consolidating to a June primary (a real primary, not the stupid Top Two system we currently use) and a November general election. But that would require changing state law. Until that happens, school districts have the option of putting levy and bond proposals on the February ballot. And many do.
In King County, there are ten school districts with levies or bonds:
Today is the election day deadline for voters in Auburn, Federal Way, Fife, Mercer Island, Renton, Seattle, Tukwila and Vashon Island school districts. Voters have until 8 PM to return ballots to a drop-off location or accessible voting center.
King County Elections has received 130,142 ballots to date out of more than 627,000 sent for today’s special election.
Voters who are mailing ballots today need to remember to affix a first class (49 cents) stamp and ensure that the mail will be postmarked today. Ballots arriving with a postmark later than election day, by law, will not be opened or counted. King County Elections is forecasting a 31 percent turnout in today’s special election.
If you are registered to vote and didn’t receive a ballot in the mail a couple weeks ago, it’s probably because your school district doesn’t have anything on the ballot. But if you live in the aforementioned districts in King County and didn’t get a ballot, something’s wrong, and you should call King County Elections right away.
NPI generally encourages you to vote “yes” on your local levies and bonds, unless you have a really good reason for voting no. As our friends at Fuse note:
School levies and bonds provide essential funding for basic classroom supplies, building maintenance, technology, and more.
It’s essential that we vote YES because the Senate Republicans have refused to close tax loopholes or raise revenue to fully fund education. While we continue to push conservatives to do their part at the state level, we must act now at the local level to ensure all our kids have the tools and opportunities to succeed.
Here’s a list of things your property tax dollars end up paying for:
- Hire faculty (teachers and staff)
- Lower class sizes
- New facilities construction and building maintenance
- Seismic retrofits, energy efficiency upgrades, and green school initiatives
- Purchase and operate school buses
- Student athletics and the arts (band, choir, theater)
- Acquire textbooks and classroom materials
- Services for students who are disabled, have special needs, or speak a first language other than English
If we want great schools, then we have to invest. Quality public services come at a price. By pooling our resources, we can afford these things. Otherwise, we can’t. If you’re ready to do your part, please vote yes for our schools.