Returning a ballot in the 2018 midterm election
Returning a ballot in the 2018 midterm election

In many juris­dic­tions across Wash­ing­ton State, today is a spe­cial elec­tion day. While it is com­mon knowl­edge that we hold a Top Two elec­tion in August and the gen­er­al elec­tion in Novem­ber of every year, state law also pro­vides for two spe­cial elec­tion win­dows: one in Feb­ru­ary and anoth­er in April.

The Feb­ru­ary 2023 spe­cial elec­tion peri­od con­cludes today.

Mea­sures on this spe­cial elec­tion bal­lot include:

  • King Coun­ty
    • Seat­tle: Ini­tia­tive 135 (social hous­ing) — NPI urges a yes vote
    • Enum­claw School Dis­trict No. 216 Propo­si­tion No. 1
  • Sno­homish County 
    • City of Arling­ton Propo­si­tion No. 1
    • Marysville School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 1
    • Sno­homish Region­al Fire & Res­cue Propo­si­tion No. 1
  • Pierce Coun­ty
    • Steila­coom His­tor­i­cal School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 1
    • Ort­ing School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 1
    • Penin­su­la School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 1
    • Penin­su­la School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 2
  • Clark Coun­ty
    • Wood­land School Dis­trict No. 404 Propo­si­tion 1, Replace­ment School Sup­port Levy for Edu­ca­tion­al Pro­grams and Operations
    • Washou­gal School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 10
    • Washou­gal School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 11
    • Van­cou­ver School Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 6
  • Spokane Coun­ty
    • New­port School Dis­trict — Replace­ment of Expir­ing Edu­ca­tion­al Pro­grams and Oper­a­tion Levy
    • Spokane Val­ley Fire Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 1
    • Spokane Fire Dis­trict Propo­si­tion No. 1

Sev­er­al oth­er coun­ties also have at least one mea­sure on the ballot.

Most of the mea­sures up for a vote today are school levies and bonds, as is cus­tom­ary for the Feb­ru­ary spe­cial elec­tion window.

If you were sent a bal­lot, please be sure to fill out and send it back in, either through a post office, or by tak­ing it to a drop box. Then check on your fam­i­ly and friends. Make sure that they and you turn out for this spe­cial elec­tion if some­thing’s on the bal­lot: vote and exer­cise your civic responsibilities!

Resources for returning your ballot

The Sec­re­tary of State offers a drop box loca­tor map which includes a com­plete list of loca­tions of bal­lot drop box­es and vot­ing cen­ters for the cur­rent elec­tion.

Bal­lots can also be returned through the U.S. Mail, no stamp needed.

Find your near­est post office using this USPS link.

Separate concurrent election for King Conservation District

There also hap­pens to be a King Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict board elec­tion end­ing today for Seat #3 on the Board of Super­vi­sors Vot­ing. Note that you won’t see this on your bal­lot if you live in Seat­tle or Enum­claw, and if you don’t live in those juris­dic­tions, you won’t get a paper bal­lot from King Coun­ty Elec­tions at all.

This elec­tion is a sep­a­rate, con­cur­rent event which began Jan­u­ary 24th, 2023.

Vot­ing is hap­pen­ing online through this portal.

We oppose online vot­ing at NPI and we renew our stand­ing objec­tion to the man­ner in which con­ser­va­tion dis­trict elec­tions are being conducted.

That said, we know democ­ra­cy does­n’t work if nobody par­tic­i­pates. So please vote. This elec­tion is open to all reg­is­tered vot­ers in King Coun­ty except for vot­ers resid­ing in the cities of Enum­claw, Fed­er­al Way, Mil­ton, Pacif­ic, and Skykomish — those cities don’t par­tic­i­pate in the King Coun­ty Con­ser­va­tion District.

Are you a Seattle voter? Please vote yes on Initiative 135

NPI urges a “yes” vote on Seat­tle Ini­tia­tive 135.

“Ini­tia­tive 135 takes the first step toward the dream of hous­ing for all by cre­at­ing a pub­lic devel­op­er equipped with the tools to ‘build, acquire, own, and man­age’ hous­ing that will stay afford­able for­ev­er,” The Stranger’s Elec­tion Con­trol Board not­ed in its endorse­ment of the mea­sure last month. “Not mar­ket-rate hous­ing, which peo­ple with low incomes can only afford when the econ­o­my crash­es. Not gov­ern­ment-sub­si­dized hous­ing, which devel­op­ers can put back on the unaf­ford­able mar­ket in 20 or 30 years. But social hous­ing; pub­licly owned and oper­at­ed, with rents for­ev­er capped at 30% of a tenant’s income.”

I‑135 is pro­posed by House Our Neigh­bors, a polit­i­cal com­mit­tee of Real Change.

“We are peo­ple with lived expe­ri­ence and advo­cates who are com­mit­ted to end­ing the home­less­ness cri­sis in Seat­tle,” the cam­paign explains. “We rep­re­sent many orga­ni­za­tions that have spent decades propos­ing con­crete solu­tions to improve people’s lives, fund­ed by pro­gres­sive tax­a­tion, that pro­vide paths for peo­ple to gain per­ma­nent hous­ing, and end the con­di­tions that lead to homelessness.”

The Eco­nom­ic Oppor­tu­ni­ty Insti­tute, Pover­ty Action Net­work, Puget Sound Advo­cates for Retire­ment Action, Sier­ra Club Seat­tle, The Urban­ist, and many oth­er civic and pro­gres­sive orga­ni­za­tions are sup­port­ing I‑135 along with Real Change, The Stranger, and the North­west Pro­gres­sive Institute.

At NPI, we believe in the val­ue and util­i­ty of cre­at­ing infra­struc­ture to solve prob­lems. We’re builders. We’re hap­py and hon­ored to stand with House Our Neigh­bors in sup­port of I‑135. We know we have an attain­able hous­ing cri­sis in the Emer­ald City and beyond that requires new and cre­ative solutions.

I‑135 is such a solu­tion, and it deserves vot­ers’ support.

Seat­tle declared a home­less­ness emer­gency in 2015, yet our unhoused pop­u­la­tion has only grown since then — not bet­ter. Oppo­nents have argued in the voter’s pam­phlet and the press that the pub­lic hous­ing devel­op­er I‑135 would cre­ate is unfund­ed and duplica­tive, but the I‑135 orga­niz­ers weren’t legal­ly allowed to pro­pose a fund­ing source as part of the ini­tia­tive and Seat­tle would clear­ly ben­e­fit from more orga­ni­za­tions work­ing on address­ing our hous­ing crisis.

We agree. Please vote yes on I‑135 by 8 PM tonight, Seattle!

Thank you for being a vot­er in this spe­cial election.

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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