A voter turns sideways as he eyes the opening of a ballot drop box before placing his ballot inside it in Seattle in October 2020. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press file photo)

A voter turns sideways as he eyes the opening of a ballot drop box before placing his ballot inside it in Seattle in October 2020. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press file photo)

Editorial: Ballots are in the mail; mark ‘em and get ‘em in

Your vote in the Nov. 2 election will determine who represents your voice regarding local issues.

By The Herald Editorial Board

Along with the fall’s first frost, the Friday night lights of high school football games and the full bloom of pumpkin spice products, you know you’re well into autumn when your general election ballot shows up in the mailbox.

Registered voters in Snohomish County and the rest of Washington state should receive the local voters guide and their ballot in the mail this week; the guide will be in the mail today and the ballots on Thursday.

Here’s what to expect and some guidance on completing and submitting your ballot:

Washington state’s all-mail elections allow voters the freedom to vote at their convenience, anytime after receiving their ballot, up to election day, Nov. 2.

If you’ve have yet to register to vote — or need to update your address or other voter information — you can do so online until Oct. 25 at VoteWA.gov. After Oct. 25, you can register to vote or update your information in person at the Snohomish County Elections Office up until Election Day.

An off-year election, this year’s ballot features local races for city and town mayors and councils, the county council, school boards, port boards and boards for hospital, fire and parks and recreation districts. As well, some fire districts have tax measures on the ballot.

While the off-year elections don’t feature high-profile national and statewide races, these local races still deserve your attention and your vote. Voters are choosing who will represent them locally in positions that often have the greatest effect on their daily lives.

Don’t pass up your chance to determine who’s representing your interests in how your local tax dollars are spent and how local decisions on policy, projects and more are made.

Along with a mayoral election, Everett voters will set a significant course of leadership on the City Council this year; with the shift to district voting, five of the seven council positions are up for election this year. And because of coming departures from the council, at least three new members will be elected to the council.

To assist in marking your ballot, voters have a range of resources to consult:

The state voter’s guide, which offers general voter registration and election information and information on three nonbinding resolutions on the ballot, was sent earlier this month but also is available at the Washington Secretary of State’s office website at sos.wa.gov.

The Snohomish County voters guide, mailed today, also is available online at tinyurl.com/SnohoVoteNov21.

Voters also can find a voters guide that’s tailored only to the races and issues on their ballot online at votewa.gov.

The Daily Herald also is offering its endorsements for select races on the ballot. Endorsements for the Everett City Council are scheduled to be published in Thursday’s print and online editions with the endorsement for Everett mayor scheduled for Sunday. A recap of all endorsements for the general election, as well as earlier endorsements prior to the primary election, is scheduled to be published in the Oct. 24 Herald and also will be available online.

Voters can also consult the state Public Disclosure Commission’s website, for information on every declared candidate’s records regarding campaign contributions, spending, expenses, loans and more at pdc.wa.gov.

The League of Women Voters of Snohomish County has hosted and recorded a wealth of election forums for specific races. Videos and audio recordings of those forums are available at tinyurl.com/LWVSC2021forums.

You ballot can be mailed — postage is not necessary — but must be postmarked before midnight, Nov. 2. To assure you vote is counted, get it in the mail early enough to be postmarked on or before Nov. 2. You can also drop off your ballot at a county elections drop box. A list of drop box locations is available in the county voters guide and online at tinyurl.com/SnoCoDropBoxNov21.

Mark your ballot, get it in and consult The Herald for election news and returns on election night and in the days that follow.

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