No push polls here! Snippet of a 2023 sample ballot
No push polls here! This graphic depicts the topmost part of a sample King County November 2023 general election ballot in English.

In just a few weeks, coun­ty elec­tion offi­cials across Wash­ing­ton will drop mil­lions of bal­lots into the mail for the 2023 Novem­ber gen­er­al election.

This will be the fif­teenth gen­er­al elec­tion in the vote-at-home era in Wash­ing­ton State his­to­ry and the third gen­er­al elec­tion in a row with no statewide mea­sures of any kind on the bal­lot. Notably, it will also be the first gen­er­al elec­tion in more than a decade with no anti-tax dis­in­for­ma­tion at or near the top of the ballot.

That’s because Tim Eyman’s push polls have gone into the dust­bin of history.

Yes — real­ly and truly!

These things…

Breaking down Tim Eyman's "advisory votes"
Break­ing down Tim Eyman’s “advi­so­ry votes”: A slide from NPI’s deck explain­ing why push polls don’t belong on our ballots

… are gone!

When you open your bal­lot this year, you will see can­di­date elec­tions and local propo­si­tions right there at the top. There won’t be any poor­ly word­ed, fake bal­lot mea­sures labeled “advi­so­ry votes” next to the instruc­tions, because our leg­is­la­tion to get rid of those incred­i­bly annoy­ing, vote-sup­press­ing pro­pa­gan­da pieces has gone into effect. It’s now the law of the land in Washington.

It was a great day when Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee signed our bill into law back in April, with our cham­pi­ons Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Amy Walen stand­ing with us. It was again a great day when our bill took effect in July. And it was still again a great day when the fis­cal dash­board our bill cre­at­ed went online in ear­ly August thanks to the joint efforts of LEAP and OFM staff.

Now we’re about to begin the next chap­ter: our first gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ing sea­son in over a decade with no Tim Eyman push polls. No elec­tion work­er or activist will have to explain what they are or how to respond to them because they no longer exist. A stu­pid, ridicu­lous bar­ri­er to vot­ing has been dismantled!

Cour­tesy of our coun­ty elec­tions offi­cials, many of whom also stood with us in the noble effort to pass Sen­ate Bill 5082 we’ve obtained a set of sam­ple bal­lots for the Novem­ber 2023 gen­er­al elec­tion. Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect to see — and not see! — when your bal­lot lands in your mail­box next month.

Let’s look at some King Coun­ty sam­ple bal­lots first.

2023 King County general election sample ballot (Seattle, English)
2023 King Coun­ty gen­er­al elec­tion sam­ple bal­lot (Seat­tle, Eng­lish, pro­vid­ed by King Coun­ty Elections)

Above, we have a sam­ple bal­lot for Seat­tle. As you can see, the first item on it is the elec­tion for King Coun­ty Asses­sor, fol­lowed by one for Elec­tions Direc­tor. These posi­tions are both being con­test­ed for three-year terms thanks to the suc­cess of NPI’s char­ter amend­ment to move elec­tions for coun­ty-lev­el posi­tions in King Coun­ty to even-num­bered years, a tran­si­tion which will be com­plete in 2028.

In addi­tion to elect­ing sev­en city coun­cilmem­bers, Seat­tle vot­ers will decide the fate of a hous­ing levy, and you can see that levy at the top of the final column.

2023 King County general election sample ballot (Espanol)
2023 King Coun­ty gen­er­al elec­tion sam­ple bal­lot (Espanol, pro­vid­ed by King Coun­ty Elections)

Above is the same sam­ple bal­lot for Seat­tle except in Span­ish rather than English.

2023 King County general election sample ballot (English, Redmond)
2023 King Coun­ty gen­er­al elec­tion sam­ple bal­lot (Eng­lish, Red­mond, pro­vid­ed by King Coun­ty Elections)

Next, we have a sam­ple bal­lot for Red­mond, NPI’s home­town. As with the Seat­tle one, every­thing fits on one page. Every­thing on the bal­lot is a real can­di­date elec­tion — there is no anti-tax adver­tis­ing. There’s noth­ing that does­n’t belong.

And now, let’s do a before and after com­par­i­son. The image on the left depicts what we dubbed the “Eymal­lot” from 2019: a bal­lot that was just loaded with right wing pro­pa­gan­da. There was so much of it that not a sin­gle can­di­date elec­tion appeared on the front side in King Coun­ty. Con­trast that with this year’s bal­lot: every­thing fits on one page and every item is for a real election.

Before (2019)

After (2023)

Some­times, as the say­ing goes, less is more. In addi­tion to mak­ing vot­ing eas­i­er in Wash­ing­ton, we are sav­ing mil­lions of dol­lars by not hav­ing any push polls on our bal­lots. For the small num­ber of peo­ple who came to leg­isla­tive hear­ings this past win­ter at Tim Eyman’s urg­ing, argu­ing that “advi­so­ry votes” are use­ful for track­ing rev­enue bills, we have good news for you: you can still track rev­enue bills act­ed on by the Leg­is­la­ture, 24/7/365, using our leg­is­la­tion’s fis­cal dash­board.

And not just the bills that raised tax­es, but the ones that raised fees, too!

Wash­ing­ton vot­ers, we hope you enjoy the expe­ri­ence of hav­ing a push poll-free bal­lot this Novem­ber as much as we enjoyed bring­ing it to you.

Hap­py voting!

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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