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Editorial: Start studying now for 2022’s big ‘civics exam’

Voters have a wealth of resources as they begin evaluating candidates for the Nov. 8 general election.

By The Herald Editorial Board

Autumn is days away and with its approach we’re seeing more color on neighbored lawns and roadside rights of way.

From falling leaves, sure, but also from campaign signs with the general election now less than two months away.

Which means it’s a good time to start preparing for our next open-book civics exam. Your exam, otherwise known as the general election ballot, won’t be mailed until Oct. 20, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start considering your picks for a number of races at the state and local level.

Among the races on Snohomish County ballots for the Nov. 8 election are U.S. Senate, three U.S. House seats, the state’s Secretary of State office, several state House and Senate positions, a Snohomish Public Utility commission seat, the Snohomish County prosecutor’s office, uncontested state and county judicial posts, tax requests for the cities of Lake Stevens and Stanwood, a Monroe School District levy and a merger of Fire Districts 23 and 17.

With that many names and choices on the ballot, fortunately there’s help available as you make your picks. Voters can expect their printed voters guide to be mailed by the Secretary of State’s office the second week of October, and an online voters guide along with other information also will be available soon at

Until then, a sample ballot with all races in Snohomish County is available at

Endorsements: And in coming days, The Daily Herald’s editorial board will begin publishing its endorsements of candidates in congressional, legislative and other local races.

Candidates are interviewed by the board, either in person or remotely. As often as possible, those interviews are conducted with candidates jointly, but schedules sometimes require separate meetings with the board.

Candidates are invited by email through the email address provided when filing for office. When candidates do not respond to an invitation or decline an invitation, that will be noted in the published endorsement. Endorsement interviews are a courtesy provided to candidates and intended as a service to Herald readers.

While the editorial board will endorse specific candidates, it makes every effort to fairly represent the qualifications, past experience and positions of all candidates interviewed, allowing voters to weigh those responses as part of their consideration of which candidates they will support. As well, voters can expect The Daily Herald’s reporting staff to provide candidate profiles and campaign coverage in the coming weeks.

Voters also have additional resources as they consider candidates:

League of Women Voters candidate forums: The League of Women Voters of Snohomish County has continued its organization of election forums for many races. This year’s forums are being conducted remotely and recorded for later viewing on its website. Recorded forums for several races on the primary ballot are now available, with more forums for general election races being made available at the league’s website soon.

For a list of forums currently available and others expected in coming weeks, go to the league’s candidate forum website at

Volunteers of America “Speakers Series”: As well, the Volunteers of America has reserved its Wednesday “Speaker Series” at the Carl Gipson Center, 3025 Lombard Avenue, Everett, for presentations by candidates. Among upcoming speakers at 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday at the center, moderated by the VOA’s Cody Armstrong-Hoss and County Auditor Garth Fell, are:

Sept. 21: Bernard Moody, Republican, running for 38th Legislative District senator;

Sept. 28: Julio Cortez, Democrat, running for 38th Legislative District representative, Pos. 1;

Oct. 5: Gary Kemp, Republican, running for 38th Legislative District representative, Pos. 1;

Oct. 12: Mary Fosse, Democrat, running for 38th Legislative District representative, Pos. 2;

Oct. 19: June Robinson, Democrat, running for 38th District senator;

Oct. 26: Jason Cummings, Democrat, candidate for Snohomish County prosecutor.

(Mark James, Republican candidate for 38th Legislative District representative, Pos. 2, and Brett Rogers, Republican candidate for Snohomish County prosecutor, attended speakers’ events earlier in August and September.)

A Monday event with U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, running for re-election to the 2nd Congressional District, also is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at the Carl Gipson Center.

The events are free and lunch is available for a fee.

More election and voter information: Voters should note that boundaries have changed for legislative and congressional districts in Washington state, following the 2020 census. To confirm the district in which you will be voting, check the interactive map online at

More information about the election and registering to vote is available at

Every election is important, but this election offers numerous races of interest and consequence to voters in Snohomish County, including those for Congress, the state Legislature, the Secretary of State’s office and its administration of elections, and Snohomish County PUD and its rates and decisions on energy policy.

Teddy Roosevelt, in a 1910 speech in Paris that he titled “Citizenship in the Republic,” but has since come to be known as the “Man in the Arena” speech, addressed the collective responsibility to democracy.

“I am a strong individualist by personal habit,” Roosevelt said, but added, “It is a mere matter of common sense to recognize that the State, the community, the citizens acting together, can do a number of things better than if they were left to individual action.”

Voting is both an individual and a collective act that answers Roosevelt’s call.

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