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