EVERETT — Decisions, decisions, decisions.
That’s what’s ahead for roughly 430,000 registered voters in Snohomish County to whom ballots are being mailed Thursday for the Aug. 2 primary.
It’s going to be a large ballot, about 18 inches long, with legislative races and tax measures appearing on both sides. Many voters are going to want to consult the 48-page pamphlet of information on candidates and the measures also arriving this week to households of registered voters.
Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Weikel is ready for voting to begin but isn’t making any predictions yet about turnout.
“I am not sure. I am still gauging the mood of voters,” she said. “There are lots of important decisions to be made. I really hope they get excited about this election and cast their ballots.”
The first decision facing voters is Proposition 1, which would increase the sales tax countywide by two-tenths of a penny. Snohomish County Councilmembers put this measure on the ballot and say they will use the money to hire additional sheriff’s deputies and deputy prosecutors, and to pay for new ways of attacking heroin use and homelessness.
Then comes a string of contests for federal and state offices in which only the top two vote-getters will advance to the general election in November, regardless of political affiliation.
U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene and Rick Larsen, both Democrats, are facing multiple challengers as they try to continue representing Snohomish County in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts respectively.
And in the 7th Congressional District, which includes a sliver of south Snohomish County, there is a fierce contest among nine candidates seeking to succeed retiring Democratic U.S. Rep Jim McDermott.
Also on the ballot are contests for seats in seven legislative districts that take in areas of Snohomish County, eight statewide offices, the state Supreme Court and Snohomish County Superior Court. There are tax measures in Mountlake Terrace, Mill Creek, Marysville and four fire districts that will be decided as well.
Ballots for the primary must be turned in postmarked no later than Aug. 2.
Voted ballots also can be put in one of the 11 drop boxes scattered around Snohomish County until 8 p.m. Election Day. These do not require postage.
For information on the election, go to www.snoco.org/elections or call 425-388-3444.