Mid-July may not seem like election season, but candidates are in full campaign mode and voters are about to make some critical, long-lasting decisions.
In both King and Pierce counties, citizens will soon receive voters’ pamphlets and — by the end of next week — ballots should be in hand. Pamphlets are scheduled to hit the mail July 12 in Pierce County and July 17 in King County. Ballots will go in the mail July 17 in King County and by July 20, at the latest, in Pierce.
All this is in preparation for the Aug. 7 primary election. It is again a “top two” format, meaning the No. 1 and No. 2 vote-getters in each race — regardless of party affiliation — will advance to November’s general election.
In both counties, voters can avoid using the mail by visiting a ballot drop box. Those will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from July 20 until 8 p.m. Aug. 7.
In Pierce County, drop boxes are again available at the libraries in Buckley and Sumner, plus the park-and-ride lot in Bonney Lake. Added this year are drop boxes at the South Prairie Fire Department and Wilkeson Town Hall.
In King County, a drop box is found at the Enumclaw library.
In both counties, voters will whittle a large field running for the U.S. Senate. The list includes 29 candidates, including incumbent Maria Cantwell.
For Congress, voters in both counties will choose finalists in District 8, which spans both sides of the Cascades. With Dave Reichert retiring, there are a dozen hopefuls on the ballot; voters will pick from four Democrats, three Republicans, a Libertarian, one Independent Centrist Party candidate and three who claim no political preference.
Voters on both sides of the White River also will choose candidates for District 31 in the Legislature. There are three candidates for both the Senate seat and Position 2 in the House of Representatives, while only two chasing the Position 1 House post.
In this eastern end of Pierce County, the District 1 seat on the County Council is up for grabs, with Dan Roach finishing a second term and unable to run again. Voters will pare a field of four to just two finalists.