EVERETT — The more than 470,000 registered voters in Snohomish County have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to make their voices heard in the 2019 primary election.
Roughly a quarter of all voters are expected to cast ballots in an election that will whittle down candidates in races for 28 local offices and decide the fate of eight local measures. The top two candidates will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.
Snohomish County Elections Manager Garth Fell said Friday that the county is estimating between 25% and 28% voter participation in Tuesday’s primary. Forecasts are based on historical data, general interest in the election and an increasing intrigue from voters as the 2020 election nears.
“This is on par with a normal odd-year primary election,” Fell said.
Two years ago, in 2017, voter participation was 24% and in 2015 it was 23%.
As of Friday, 11.8% of all ballots — more than 56,000 — had been returned, according to the county’s returned ballot statistics. The city of Edmonds had the highest rate of returned ballots at 16%.
Pivotal contests in the primary election include a spot representing District 2 on the Snohomish County Council with eight candidates in the race, District 3 on the county council, four hopefuls vying for Edmonds Mayor, four open council seats in Mukilteo with a primary for each one, five candidates running for Marysville City Council and numerous more.
Six fire districts are asking voters for tax levies and Lake Stevens Fire District 8 is requesting approval of a merger with Snohomish County Fire District 7.
For the first time, a person can go into the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office, 3000 Rockefeller, or the Lynnwood Sno-Isle Library, 19200 44th Ave W, until 8 p.m. on Tuesday to register to vote, get a ballot and cast it. Same-day registration is the result of a law enacted in 2018.
Today, the county auditor’s office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the Lynnwood Library is registering voters from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. On election day, the Auditor’s Office will open at 10 a.m. and the Lynnwood location will open at 8 a.m.
A new statewide voter registration and election management system, VoteWA, is also making its debut. Using the site, voters can view their registration status and even download their ballot.
If a voter has yet to receive their ballot, they are encouraged to contact the Elections Office, 425-388-3444, for assistance.
Primary ballots must be returned or postmarked no later than Tuesday. Voters can either mail their ballots back, no stamp required, or place them in one of the county’s 19 designated drop boxes, which will be open until 8 p.m. Aug. 6.