Offering daily news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

It’s Top Two Election Day in Washington State – don’t forget to vote!

Readers, a reminder that today is the last day of the August 2018 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 low, but not as bad as last year or in 2015, when it was utterly abysmal. As of yesterday afternoon, statewide turnout stood at 22.2%. King County’s turnout is just a smidgeon below the statewide percentage at 22.1%, which is an improvement over past years.

However, Pierce and Snohomish (the state’s next largest counties) are really, really lagging behind. Pierce’s turnout is an embarrassing 15.3% (it’s the worst in the state) while Snohomish isn’t faring much better at 17.3%.

Tiny Columbia County in southeast Washington currently has the best turnout, with 46.6% of ballots returned. On its heels are Garfield and Wahkiakum counties, which are also very small, at 45.4% and 45%. Of the counties with a population that’s well into five digits, Jefferson has the best turnout, coming in at 41.2%.

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. And for judicial races, there’s VotingForJudges.org.

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.

We will be watching a number of races closely, especially the contest for Washington’s 8th Congressional District (where three Democratic candidates are vying for two spots along with Republican Dino Rossi), and legislative races in the 40th and 34th Districts, where large fields of candidates are again competing for just two spots on the November general election ballot.