What’s at stake and how to vote: Tuesday is Election Day

This is a year when most local offices are decided, from mayors to city councils and school boards.

vote

EVERETT — If you’re hanging on to your ballot — and a lot of registered voters in Snohomish County are — the time to fill it out and turn it in is almost over.

Election Day is Tuesday.

As elections go, this is a big one. Odd-numbered years are when most local government offices are up for election. There are local ballot measures to be decided, as well.

But voters aren’t showing much sign of excitement.

As of Friday afternoon, a mere 14.5% of ballots had been returned countywide. Election officials said turnout is still on pace to reach 35%. That’s a far cry from the county’s 85.2% mark last November but an improvement from the 32.7% total in 2017, the last odd-year election following a presidential election.

Stakes on Tuesday are pretty high in some communities:

• Voters in Lynnwood, Gold Bar and Brier are choosing a new mayor, while in Mukilteo, Snohomish and Everett, they are deciding if they want to keep the one they have.

• There are contests for city council seats in every community. District elections are happening in Everett. Voters will elect five council members from neighborhood districts.

• There are contested seats for school boards across the county, and candidates have clashed on the value of COVID-19 mandates and the content of curriculum for teaching of sexual health education and race.

• There are even a couple advisory measures — one on housing in Mukilteo and another on whether to ban fireworks in Lake Stevens.

Ballots, which were mailed to registered voters last month, can be placed in any of Snohomish County’s 30 designated drop boxes until 8 p.m. Or they can be mailed without a stamp. However, return envelopes must be postmarked no later than Tuesday to be counted. Every election, ballots are rejected because they arrive too late.

Not registered? No problem. You can still participate. Washington allows for same-day voting, which means you can register and vote until 8 p.m. Tuesday at a designated voting center or the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office.

The voting centers open at 8:30 a.m.

They are located in the public meeting rooms on the first floor of the Snohomish County Administration Building, 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett; the Alderwood Water & Wastewater District office, 3626 156th St. SW in Lynnwood; and the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 16710 Smokey Point Blvd. in Arlington.

If you have issues with your ballot, you can contact the Snohomish County elections office at 425-388-3444.

Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com; 360-352-8623; Twitter: @dospueblos

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