Let’s hope voters aren’t sitting on their franchise

We’re hoping for a flood.

No, not that kind. Our wish is for a torrent of ballots to hit the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office today and the rest of this week, boosting what has been a relative trickle of ballots received through Monday — just 20.9 percent of those mailed out.

Perhaps most voters waited until the final days before Election Day, taking the time to thoroughly weigh the issues and candidates in this off-year, locally focused election. Some of the ballot issues are as complex as they are important and some of the races pit highly capable candidates against each other, making for some tough choices.

A roads and transit measure would commit the Puget Sound region to billions in investments over the next two decades. Proposed constitutional amendments would lower the threshold for approving school levies to a simple majority and force state government to save for a rainy day. Millions have been spent in advertising over a referendum that would create new penalties for insurance companies that fail to pay legitimate claims, and Tim Eyman has an initiative aimed at making it harder for lawmakers to raise taxes.

Important local offices are up for grabs, including county executive and two county council seats, along with a host of mayoral, city council and school board positions.

Yet unless about 100,000 more ballots arrive at the auditor’s office, turnout won’t even be 50 percent — and that’s just of registered voters; many eligible voters never even bother to register. Fifty percent is roughly the turnout predicted by the secretary of state’s office — a decidedly dismal threshold.

It’s not too late. Community collection centers will be taking ballots until 8 tonight. (Go to www.snoco.org to find the nearest one.) If you take yours to the post office, make sure it gets postmarked today.

You’ll be affected by — and perhaps paying for — the choices made in this election, so you might as well have a say. If you haven’t done so already, get off your franchise and exercise it. Today.

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