This week out on Red Square at the University of Washington (UW), college students are approaching their peers with clipboards in hand, asking if they have registered to vote for the upcoming election.
And young people are teaming up to get the vote out. Various organizations are rallying together on Red Square and outside campus buildings and asking strangers if they are registered to vote, and their members are phone-banking and going into classrooms to encourage each other to fill out their ballots.
(This article originally appeared on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Voters in Seattle and King County are gearing up for the end of the electoral season, a lengthy — and expensive! — period in which candidates try to convince the public that they are the right person to lead government for the next four years.
Candidates have serious competition for voters’ attention and zeal for the democratic process. That’s particularly true in the region’s odd-year election cycle, which means the public rolled from the drama of the 2020 national campaign straight into local elections, which are arguably as consequential but don’t tend to command the same degree of participation.
But elections have consequences, and local organizations have been working overtime to not just encourage people to register to vote and fill out their ballots but be informed when they do it. That’s even more challenging this year than usual because of the pandemic, which limited groups’ abilities to engage in traditional “get-out-the-vote” activities.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
Only six days left until Tuesday’s important Nov. 2 election!
Seattle’s Mayor, City Attorney, at-large City Council Pos. 9 seat, King County Executive, as well as other local city and county district races will be decided. The winners of those contests will chart the course of how the region tackles homelessness, policing, and housing affordability.
Did you get your ballot, or was it damaged in the mail? If you need help with your ballot or other questions, call 206-296-VOTE (8683).
Are you registered to vote? It’s too late to register by mail and online, but you can still register and get a ballot through Election Day, Nov. 2, by visiting the King County Elections Center,919 SW Grady Way in Renton, or a variety of voting centers in the county.
Who can register to vote in Washington? Simple, you must be:
A citizen of the United States.
A legal resident of Washington State.
At least 18 years old by election day.
Not disqualified from voting due to a court order.
Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a Washington felony conviction.
Every 10 years, officials undertake a great political balancing act that profoundly — but almost invisibly — determines the value of your voice in democracy. By redrawing voting districts at the state and local levels, they set boundaries that will influence elections for the next decade.
The process, known as redistricting, is fundamental to the idea of representation in politics. How lines are drawn determines who votes in a given district, which in turn determines which candidates get elected, what laws are passed, and how public money is spent.
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Monday, Oct. 25
Live From King County Elections HQ | Converge The Vote! | Learn How to Register and Vote
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.
(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted with permission.)
From the exterior, the King County Elections headquarters resembles a drab office building, gray and in an industrial part of Renton, across from a used car dealership.
On the inside, however, officials want the public to think of it as the Fort Knox of elections.
King County, like the rest of the U.S., is careening toward one of the most anticipated elections in modern history. By Nov. 3, the Electoral College will either reelect President Donald Trump or replace him with former Vice President Joe Biden.
With two weeks left to go and millions of votes already cast, the legitimacy of the election is already being called into question.
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.