Ready, set, vote: Ballots for Aug. 3 primary go out Thursday

A half-million voters get a say in setting the field for three dozen races for local office.

The Snohomish County voters pamphlet. (Snohomish County)

The Snohomish County voters pamphlet. (Snohomish County)

EVERETT — Voting in the 2021 primary gets underway this week.

Ballots for the Aug. 3 election will be mailed Thursday to 507,000 registered voters in Snohomish County.

And voters are also receiving a local voters’ pamphlet with photos and statements of candidates competing for seats on school boards, fire commissions, city councils and the County Council.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of local elections. The candidates we elect will determine priorities for our county, cities, schools and other local districts and can significantly impact our daily life,” County Auditor Garth Fell said.

“And voting in the primary supports candidates you want to see on your general election ballot,” he said. “So make sure your voice is heard — vote and return your primary ballot as soon as possible.”

One of the more closely watched races is in Lynnwood, where three members of the City Council — Jim Smith, Christine Frizzell and George Hurst — are running for mayor. The top two finishers will advance to the November election, with the winner succeeding Mayor Nicola Smith, who chose not to seek another term.

Mayoral races are also on the ballot in Snohomish and Everett. So, too, are contests for seats on the city councils in Bothell, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mukilteo, Snohomish and the town council in Darrington.

And this primary marks the first time Everett voters will consider their council candidates based on districts. Contests in districts 3 and 5 are on the ballot, and each has drawn three hopefuls. In the fall, five city council members will be chosen by districts.

There are no countywide races or ballot measures in this election.

But voters in Snohomish are considering Proposition 1, which deals with the city’s transportation benefit district. It seeks to renew a 0.2% sales tax, proceeds of which are to be spent on road projects in the city.

Ballots returned by mail do not require a stamp — the postage will be paid by the state. But they must be postmarked no later than Aug. 3 to count.

Another option is to deposit ballots in one of the county’s 30 designated drop boxes. Those are open around the clock until 8 p.m. on election day.

It is not too late to participate.

A person can register online or by mail until July 26, which is eight days before the election. After that, a person can register or update registration in person at the county elections office during business hours and until 8 p.m. on election day.

For more information, contact the elections office at 425-388-3444.

Jerry Cornfield:; @dospueblos

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