It’s time to turn in that ballot

Some important dates to remember, plus candidate opinions on the 2020 eleciton.

Election season is upon us.

Washington voters have already begun voting in the 2022 general election, a midterm year with highly-anticipated races for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Secretary of State, U.S. Senate and across several districts in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is our last print edition before election day, which is Nov. 8. In next week’s paper, you’ll see who won and which ballot measures passed.

Washington is a vote-by-mail state, which means you can fill your ballot out anywhere and send it in through the mailbox or at an official drop box. Here are the important dates to know:

• Oct. 21: The 18-day voting period began. Ballots were mailed out, most arriving over the next few days.

• Oct. 31: This was the last day to register to vote online or by mail.

• Nov. 8: Election day. 8 p.m. on this day is your last chance to register to vote in person or update your voter registry, or to turn in a ballot to an official drop box. Ballots sent by mail must be post-marked on or before this day. Election results begin to post this evening as well, although it usually takes a week or two for all of the ballots to be counted.

• Nov. 29: Counties must certify their results by this date and send them to the Secretary of State.

• Dec. 8: The Secretary of State must certify the election results by this date.

• Early January: Elected candidates are officially sworn in to office.

Locally, King County voters will decide the outcome of two proposals — one seeking to change county elections to even years only, and the other resetting a levy rate to fund county purchases of open spaces for preservation from development.

Many readers in the north Plateau or Black Diamond area will vote for the 5th Legislative District races. Voters will also decide the fate of all three legislators in the state’s 31st district, which encompasses most of the Plateau, including the municipalities of Enumclaw, Buckley, Wilkeson and Carbonado.

The 31st District candidates include incumbent Sen. Phil Fortunato (R) and challenger Chris Vance (Independent), incumbent Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R) and challenger Holly Stanton (D), and incumbent Rep. Eric Robertson (R), who is running unopposed.

Fortunato’s endorsements include the Law Enforcement Administrators of Washington, Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro and Marysville Mayor John Nehring, the Washington Retail and Hospitality Associations and the Mainstream Republicans of Washington. He was named “Legislator of the Year” by the King County Police Officer’s Guild last month.

Vance’s endorsements include the editorial boards of the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune; the Public School Employees of Washington and Washington Education Association; the Washington State Labor Council, Pierce County Labor Council; and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters and East Pierce Professional Firefighters.

Stanton is endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, and Democrat groups including the 31st District Democrats, the Metropolitan Democrat Club of Seattle and the Democrats for Diversity and Inclusion.

Stokesbary’s endorsements include the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune; the state council of firefighters, council of police and sheriffs, and fraternal order of police; several business associations like the Washington Retail Association, and the Retired Public Employees Council of Washington.

The Courier-Herald does not make endorsements in political races.


While these races are for the state legislature, some of our readers told us they wanted to know where the candidates stand on a national issue: The outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Biden earned 306 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 232 in that race, and Trump’s attorney general and election officials in all 50 states found no evidence of widespread fraud or irregularities in the election.

Around 95% of Democrats and 60% of Independents believe that Biden was legitimately elected, but only about 25% of Republicans agree, according to several polls over the last two years analyzed by Poynter.

So we asked each candidate in the 31st district: “Did Joe Biden win the 2020 presidential election?” Here’s what they said.

Robertson: “Yes.”

Stokesbary: “Yes. I think that was the easiest question you asked me.”

Stanton: “Yes, he did. All Republicans, under oath, will admit that he did. When they look at who did vote that should not have voted, it was a minuscule number. And there were quite a few Republicans that were the ones who were double voting, (etc.). But none of the numbers were nearly at a level that it could have flipped the election. So yes, he won.”

Vance: “Absolutely. Absolutely he won. There was nothing unusual about that election, and the only reason so many Americans are questioning our election system is because Donald Trump spread lies, because he couldn’t accept the fact he lost.”

Fortunato: “Trump did not win Washington State. … I cannot say what happened in other states. … I can only tell you what I know in Washington.” Courier-Herald: “Do you think that Biden is legitimately the President? I know you’re probably not his biggest fan. But if he came down in Air Force 1, would you call him ‘Mr. President?’ ” Fortunato: “Yes. You’ve got two different things going on. The guy who gets the electoral college vote is president. Done. Did he get the electoral college vote? Yes. So if you get enough electoral votes, you’re president, done. End of the conversation. Now, the question (that) comes in is how you got the electoral college votes. That’s a different story. And I don’t know what happened in other states, but I know it happened here. … And (Biden) got enough electoral college votes to be President, so he is President, even though my retirement plan laments that fact.”