Returning a ballot
Returning a ballot to a drop box

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

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.

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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