By Jerry Cornfield and Amy Daybert Herald Writers
Candidates hit the rain-soaked campaign trail Monday attending rallies, waving signs and making phone calls in a last-minute push for votes in today’s election.
Ballots must be postmarked today or turned in by 8 p.m. to be counted in the election which could see Democrats lose control of Congress and their ironclad grip on the Legislature.
Nine statewide ballot measures also are stirring voter interest in this midterm election, leading Secretary of State Sam Reed to predict 66 percent of the state’s 3.6 million voters will return their ballots.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi, whose battle is on the national marquee, surrounded themselves with boisterous backers at events throughout Western Washington.
Nearly 100 aerospace workers, veterans and their families chanted “Patty, Patty” as Murray took the podium inside the Machinists’ union hall in Everett at 3 p.m.
“It’s getting exciting,” Murray told a crowd who brought signs reading ‘Vets Love Murray,’ ‘Patty Fights For Us,’ and ‘Six More Years.’
“One more day and we can say Main Street is going to be Wall Street,” she said. “One more day and we’re going to say we’re not going back to the Bush economic policies of the past and one more day and we’re going to say your voice is louder than all the special interest and Karl Rove money that’s pouring into our state. One more day and we’re going to win this election.”
Murray went on to events in Edmonds and ended her evening in Seattle. She will return to Everett this morning to meet with volunteers calling voters.
Rossi began his day waving signs alongside supporters in Vancouver then took a plane north to Puyallup where about 100 lightly drenched followers chanted, “Dino, Dino,” as he came to the microphone inside the Best Western Park Plaza hotel.
“Who here wants to remove Patty Murray’s tennis shoes from Congress?” he said, evoking a roar from the crowd.
Rossi, in a 20-minute speech, hit on the major theme of his campaign — “We’re witnessing a fundamental redefinition of America and we cannot let that happen” — and urged the audience to work right up until 8 tonight to get those who haven’t voted to do so.
Rossi then headed to his Bellevue headquarters for an evening rally. Like Murray, he’ll be making a stop in Everett today, one of several before voting ends.
Among the Democrats joining Murray at the union hall was Rep. Rick Larsen, who is in a close race with Republican John Koster to win the 2nd Congressional District.
Larsen left there for Everett where he planned to wave signs at the corner of 32nd Street and Rucker Avenue in early part of the evening commute.
Koster, meanwhile, spent his weekend driving the district talking with voters and Monday he settled in next to volunteers on the phone bank in his campaign headquarters in Arlington. There, he and volunteers spent the day calling voters who had yet to turn in their ballot.
Also to be decided today are all 98 seats in the state House of Representatives and 25 of 49 state Senate seats are on the ballot. Seventeen of those — 14 in the House and three in the Senate — represent some part of Snohomish County.
There are six statewide initiatives including two aimed at getting the state out of the business of selling hard liquor, one creating a tax on the income of high-wage earners and another to repeal taxes imposed earlier this year on candy, soda pop and bottled water.
Among local measures, Mukilteo residents will be deciding whether they want the final say on the use of safety cameras in the city.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ballot drop-off locations
In Snohomish County, voters can place their ballots without postage in any of nine 24-hour drop boxes across Snohomish County. They’ll be open until 8 p.m.
The locations are:
n Arlington Sno-Isle Library, 135 N Washington Ave., Arlington.
n Edmonds Sno-Isle Library, 650 Main St., Edmonds.
n Everett Courthouse Campus, Rockefeller Ave. and Wall St., Everett.
n Lynnwood Sno-Isle Library, 19200 44th Ave., Lynnwood.
n Marysville Sno-Isle Library, 6120 Grove St., Marysville.
n Mill Creek, 159th Pl SE (Post Office traffic island).
n Monroe Sno-Isle Library, 1070 Village Way, Monroe.
n Mukilteo Sno-Isle Library, 4675 Harbour Pointe Blvd., Mukilteo.
n Snohomish Sno-Isle Library, 311 Maple Ave., Snohomish.
Ballots also can be brought to the Snohomish County elections office on the first floor of the administration building, 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.
If you have any questions, call the elections office at 425-388-3444.
In Island County, voters can drop off ballots at any of four regional ballot drop-off centers between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The locations are:
n Island County Elections Office, 400 N. Main St., Coupeville.
n Camano Island Annex, 121 N. East Camano Drive, Camano Island.
n Oak Harbor School District Administration Building, 350 S. Oak Harbor St., Oak Harbor.
n Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 SR 525, Freeland.
For information, call the elections office at 360-679-7366.