Primary ballots, election materials are out

Don’t forget to register online or by mail by Monday, July 29.

Primary election ballots have been mailed, voters’ pamphlets are in hand and citizens are now called to do their civic duty.

Across both King and Pierce counties it’s primary season, the time of year when races with multiple candidates are whittled down to a pair of finalists.

This time around, that doesn’t mean a lot to Plateau voters. There are only a couple of races featuring more than two candidates. Where only a pair filed for election, both automatically advance to November’s general election.

After filling out their limited primary ballots, voters can return them by traditional mail (no stamp needed) or take them to a drop box. In Enumclaw, there’s a box in front of the public library; in Pierce County, there are drop boxes in Buckley, Wilkeson and South Prairie.

Drop boxes are already open and will accept ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Aug. 6.

If putting ballots in the mail, they must be postmarked by Aug. 6. It is generally suggested that ballots be put in the mail by the Friday prior to the election.

A ballot measure limited to King County voters – but having significance on both sides of the White River – is Proposition 1. Billed as a “Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy” it would, if passed, extend an existing levy for six more years. The measure would generate more than $700 million during its six-year lifespan and help fund projects throughout the county.

In Enumclaw, passage of the levy would assure a link between sections of the Foothills Trail in both King and Pierce counties. A bridge that would span the White River and complete a 21-mile ribbon of trail would be funded if Prop 1 is approved.

When it comes to races in local jurisdictions, there’s not a lot to be decided as only two need whittling.

• In Carbonado, one hopeful will be trimmed from the field seeking the Position 5 seat on the Town Council. In the running are PJ Salvati, Magdalen (Maggie) Emry and Terry Carter.

• For the Enumclaw Fire Department, four candidates are on the ballot seeking the Position 3 post. Voters will advance two finalists from the field of Paul Fisher, Brian Sierzega, Eric Heintzinger and Joseph Wicklander.

OTHER ELECTION ITEMS

The State Legislature passed a number of bills during the 2018 and 2019 sessions that changed dates and deadlines for registration and voting.

The following changes have been noted by Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson. Those changes include:

• Pre-paid postage: Every ballot will now come with a pre-paid ballot-return envelope so voters will no longer have to search for a stamp.

• Online voter registration: for the Aug. 6 primary, eligible residents have until Monday, July 29, to register online at www.VoteWA.gov or by mail. They’ll also have until Monday, Oct. 28, to register online for the Nov. 5 general election. After those dates, eligible residents will have to register in person at their county elections office.

• Same-day registration: If potential voters can’t get registered online or by mail before the deadline, they can visit their county elections office in person before 8 p.m. on Aug. 6 to vote in the Primary, and Nov. 5 to vote in the general election.

• Future voters: 16- and 17-year-old residents can now enroll in the Future Voter program to automatically be registered to vote on their 18th birthday. Future Voters who turn 18 on or before Aug. 6 can vote in the 2019 primary, while those who turn 18 on or before Nov. 5 can vote in this year’s general election.

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