Tag Archives: Elections

OPINION: Is Increasing Voter Turnout the Key to Progressive Victories?

by Guy Oron


If you’re a progressive or leftist like me, you were probably disappointed in the November local election results. Conservative candidates swept 3 out of the 4 Seattle races, including the all-important mayoral election by a large margin of nearly 20%.

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OPINION: Community Is All We Need

by Nura Ahmed 


It was election day, Nov. 2, 2019. Hope and anticipation filled the air and Seattle’s communities of color were restless and agitated, facing an unknown future. It was pouring down rain as final results rolled in. Shaun Scott was running on a democratic-socialist platform, alongside many other progressive candidates looking to make a change in our city, county, and state. 

I started organizing for progressive candidates that same year. I believed in our electoral system, that politics was the means for achieving liberation. But what I learned instead was that our electoral system has a lot more to do with money than liberation. It was heartbreaking to see grounded-in-community progressives lose because it showed where our power structure’s real interest lies. 

It was never in the community. It has always been in protecting corporate interests. It was disheartening and it made me realize that our electoral system was never created for us. The election in 2019 only showed us that City Council elections can be bought.

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OPINION: School Boards and Local Elections Are Ground Zero for Our Values

by Shasti Conrad


Local elections don’t just matter: They are a matter of life and death for far too many in our communities. 

About a month ago, I learned that my hometown of Newberg, Oregon, became the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. The local school board voted to ban symbols such as Pride flags and signs declaring that “Black Lives Matter,” calling them “political statements’’ and therefore inappropriate for school. What they really did was politicize humanity and, in the name of “neutrality,” help the oppressor. 

As someone who also had to navigate predominantly white spaces as a student of color, my heart went out to students who, in that vote, witnessed representatives of the community invalidate their entire existence as a mere “political statement” that didn’t belong in a classroom setting. 

The fact that Newberg is my hometown galvanized me to take action. And I am now working with people in Newberg to hold school board members accountable for this, by supporting recall efforts for Brian Shannon, and making the Newberg School District more welcoming and equitable. And while the story of Newberg is deeply personal to me, it is also far from unique. These incidents are happening in schools all around the nation and in our own backyard. 

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Not Registered for the August 3 Election? Here’s How to Fix That and Get Your Ballot

by Phil Manzano


While you may find it difficult to pull away from the sunny reverie of summer, there’s an important election on the horizon for Seattle and King County. Here’s a primer on how to make sure you make your voice heard in the upcoming Aug. 3 primary election, when voters will weigh in on county, city, and special district elections.

The deadline to register online or by mail for the Aug. 3 primary election, July 26, has already passed. You can register to vote in person for the primary election up to and including Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 3.

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A Guide to Democracy Vouchers

by Mark Van Streefkerk


If you’re a registered voter and Seattle resident, you’ve probably already received your Democracy Vouchers in the mail. You’ll recognize them in that the envelope looks a bit like your election ballot, though they come from the City of Seattle. The Democracy Vouchers Program automatically distributes four $25 vouchers to all registered voters that can be used to support participating candidates for City of Seattle office. You can participate in the voucher program even if you’re not registered to vote. The idea behind the program is to provide public funds to candidates who might otherwise not have the financial resources to run a campaign and to allow more Seattle residents to donate to candidates they support.

Maybe you’ve already used your vouchers, maybe you’re unsure how to use them, or even accidentally threw them in the recycling bin. (Don’t worry, there’s an easy fix for that!) The following is a guide on how to use Democracy Vouchers, including how to receive them in any of 18 languages and where you can find out more information about each candidate. 

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Latino Voters Have Higher Than Average Ballot Signature Rejection Rates in Washington State

by Joy Borkholder

(This article originally appeared on InvestigateWest and has been reprinted with permission.)


Marissa Reyes still doesn’t understand why her signature would cause her August 2020 Benton County primary ballot to be tossed out. 

A letter from the county elections office challenging her signature came to her house in her hometown of Prosser. But Reyes had left for New York, where she had just finished college. Confused, neither Reyes nor her parents had the time to figure it all out before her ballot was rejected.

“I definitely felt annoyed and a little apathetic, but definitely not surprised,” Reyes recalled.

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OPINION: Yes, Your Vote Matters

by Gordon McHenry


In a couple of weeks, Washington State will mail out ballots for one of the most critical elections of our lifetimes. While every election is important, this upcoming contest has the potential to alter the course of our nation for generations, so every vote will count. 

In the last presidential election, almost 77% of eligible, voting-age Washingtonians registered to vote — the highest percentage since 1984. However, turnout was only 65%. In King County, turnout declined by nearly 3% compared to 2012. Statewide, it went down by a similar amount.

While 65% turnout is high relative to other states, that leaves room for improvement. 

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The Position of King County Sheriff Could Become an Appointed One. Here’s Why That Matters.

by Carolyn Bick


For 25 years, voters who live in King County’s 12 unincorporated areas that do not have their own police departments have seen their already-small power over who enforces the laws in their communities dwindle. Since the position of King County sheriff became an elected one in 1996, more and more people have moved to cities that have their own police departments. Today, just 11% of voters live in unincorporated King County.

But why do these numbers matter?

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Andrea Caupain Suspends Campaign For State Representative, Endorses Chukundi Salisbury

by Mark Van Streefkerk


On Monday, June 29, Andrea Caupain, candidate for state representative in Seattle’s 37th legislative district, announced she was suspending her campaign. Of the remaining two candidates, Kirsten Harris-Talley and Chukundi Salisbury, Caupain officially endorsed Salisbury. Caupain led the candidates in funds raised at over $81,000, but said her reason for leaving the race was to better serve locally, especially in light of COVID-19’s disproportionate effects on the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities she serves through the nonprofit Byrd Barr Place.

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