Citizens, time to participate with your vote

By Carolyn Weikel

We, Snohomish County voters, can do better!

Did you know that only half of the people who vote in the November general elections typically vote in the August primaries? The primary serves as a critical step in determining the final two candidates who will proceed to the general election in contested races. This year we elect representatives to Congress and our state Legislature as well as our county executive, sheriff, prosecuting attorney and District Court judges. The primary also contains ballot measures that may affect your local community or perhaps affect your life as a Washington state resident. Primaries are important.

The 2014 Primary ballot and local voter’s pamphlet should have recently arrived in the mail. If you are not yet registered to vote, there is still time to participate. First-time voters in Washington can register in person at the Auditor’s Office through Monday, July 28. We are located at 3000 Rockefeller Avenue in Everett and are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As you prepare to vote using your Aug. 5 Primary ballot, I encourage you to be an informed voter by:

Familiarizing yourself with the races and issues that appear on the ballot,

Reading and following the ballot directions,

Not writing in silly names for office,

Signing your ballot envelope, and

Returning your ballot as soon as practical.

The voter’s pamphlet is a great source of information to help you make informed decisions. It includes statements and photos from candidates who are running for office, district maps; elected position job descriptions, pro and con statements for local ballot measures, instructions on how to properly fill out your ballot and locations of ballot drop boxes and accessible voting sites.

To help you stay on top of voting deadlines and other pertinent election information, you can sign up to receive elections reminders from the Auditor’s Office via email or text message. Simply go to www.snohomishcountywa.gov/signup and select the categories of news and information that interest you.

As a community, we can do better! Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 5. Vote and return your ballot well before the Aug. 5 deadline to ensure your ballot is counted.

Please contact our Elections and Voter Registration Division staff at 425-388-3444 if you have any questions about participating in the Aug. 5 Primary.

Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Weikel has served in her post since 2007.