ELECTION 2022: 5 weeks until vote-counting begins. Here’s the most complicated issue you’ll be asked to decide (and what else is on the ballot)

checkbox.jpgElection Day, November 8th, is exactly five weeks away. But you’ll be able to start voting a lot sooner – King County Elections plans to send out ballots on October 19th, and you can vote as soon as you get yours. Here’s KCE’s one-stop info page for the election, including a link you can use to preview the ballot you’ll get. Here’s the sample ballot we downloaded, which is what you’ll receive if you’re in the city and the 34th State Legislative District.

The most complicated issue is Seattle Proposition 1A-1B – alternatives for changing the way you vote in Seattle city primaries. Initiative-born 1A would enable voters to check off as many candidates “as they approve of” in races for Mayor, City Attorney, and City Council. The two top vote-getters for each office would advance to the general election. 1B is an elected-official-proposed alternative that would allow voters in those same primary races to rank candidates by their preference, with a multi-round vote-counting process ensuing. You’ll have two votes on this two-part proposition – should either become law, and regardless of whether you said yes or no, which one would you rather see become law? The ballot also includes a King County charter amendment that would change elections, moving County Executive, County Councilmembers, County Assessor, and Elections Director to even-numbered years. Plus there’s a King County levy proposal, the Conservation Futures Levy. Besides those issues, the ballot includes U.S. House, U.S. Senate, State Legislature, Secretary of State, King County Prosecutor, and 17 judicial positions, only two of which are contested. Two state advisory measures are on the ballot too. Not registered to vote but eligible? Go here.

38 Replies to "ELECTION 2022: 5 weeks until vote-counting begins. Here's the most complicated issue you'll be asked to decide (and what else is on the ballot)"

  • anonyme October 4, 2022 (4:22 pm)

    With the vast majority of judges running unopposed, we must find a better way than the ballot box to hold them accountable.  What happened to the new policies around catch & release?  What I read on the pages of the WSB seems like the same old thing – judges either immediately release repeat felons, or reduce bail to a meaningless amount.  While judges don’t have complete control over what offenders do, they could certainly exercise better ‘judgment’,

  • SpencerGT October 4, 2022 (4:49 pm)

    We should use ranked choice voting to decide if we should use ranked choice voting.

    • Rob October 4, 2022 (6:27 pm)

      Lol right?  Seems super complicated,  let’s not overthink this like everything else we seem to do here.  It’s just an election…names with circles to fill in, candidate with the most votes wins.  

      • foop October 4, 2022 (9:44 pm)

        There’s nothing complicated about it, and its more representative of your, likely nuanced, opinions.

    • James October 5, 2022 (12:47 pm)

      What the heck is complicated about rank choice voting? It’s super easy.  And way more democratic.

  • Peter October 4, 2022 (6:04 pm)

    Both of the proposed voting schemes are clearly unconstitutional, so that’ll be a big “no” from anyone who understands how democracy works. The approval voting is just absurd on its face. Ranked choice effectively gives people who don’t get their way a second vote. Both are fundamentally anti-democracy, approval because it makes voting effectively meaningless, and ranked choice because it gives some voters a double vote. There’s no way either will stand up to legal challenges. We have a long tradition of “one person, one vote” in this country, and both of these schemes are direct attacks on that fundamental principle of democracy. Not only that, but they also reward so-called “low information” voting, removing any need for voters to understand the issues or the candidates and make an actual decision, which itself further undermines democracy. 

    • WS Res October 4, 2022 (6:38 pm)

      You’re wrong about ranked-choice voting – it is already in use multiple places in the US. And it doesn’t give people “more than one vote.”  If I were allowed to vote for Candidate X 3 times, that would be giving me 3 votes.  If I’m allowed to vote for Candidate X, but if Candidate X is in the extreme minority and has no chance of winning then I can transfer my one vote to Candidate Y, that’s still only one vote.

      • Peter October 5, 2022 (8:44 am)

        WS Res, just because it’s in use does not mean it’s constitutional under either the US or WA constitutions. Giving someone a revote if they don’t get their way is effectively giving them a second vote, even if you try to phrase it as a “transfer.” It does, in fact, give some people a second vot but not others, and is therefore fundamentally anti-democratic. 

    • Ivan Weiss October 4, 2022 (6:50 pm)

      @ Peter:There are many reasons to oppose ranked-choice voting, and oppose it I will, but there’s nothing unconstitutional about it, and saying it’s unconstitutional doesn’t make it so.

    • K October 4, 2022 (7:04 pm)

      There’s no double voting.  Ranked choice is just an instant runoff.  Please, Peter and anyone else reading, learn more about ranked choice voting.  

      • Peter October 5, 2022 (8:37 am)

        K, I know very well what ranked choice voting is and how it works, and I’ve been arguing against it with anyone who supports it for the past 30 years. Giving someone a revote if they don’t get their way is effectively giving them a second vote, even if you try to phrase it as a “runoff.” Ranked choice is contrary to the fundamental principles of democracy and is therefore an attack on democracy itself. 

        • Ron Swanson October 5, 2022 (10:38 am)

          The fact you are so adamant about factually incorrect things about RCV makes me doubt how much you actually know about it.

        • WS Res October 5, 2022 (11:28 am)

          You can keep misunderstanding how RCV works but that doesn’t make your interpretation accurate.  “Instant runoff” is indeed the best way to summarize it.  Or are you against primaries and runoffs conducted separately b/c in your opinion it gives people “two votes”?

    • Seattlite October 5, 2022 (11:02 am)

      100% correct, Peter.  Ranked voting clouds much needed debate between candidates.  Ranked voting disconnects elections from the issues and can allow marginal or less candidates to win.  Ranked voting disenfranchises voters by tossing out the ballots that do not include the two finalists, which could be marginal candidates, creating a clouded majority for the winner.

      • WS Res October 5, 2022 (2:39 pm)

        This is also not true. No ballots are “tossed out” – in fact, your description more accurately describes our current system, in which everyone who did not rank the candidate with the most votes as their sole preferred choice essentially gets no voice, even if they might have also favored other minority or near-majority candidates.If a single candidate, Candidate A, wins a majority in round 1, the vote is over and they win. If there is no clear majority after one round, there is an “instant runoff” and those who continue to favor Candidate A “vote” for that candidate again. But the lowest vote-getter, Candidate Z, is eliminated, and those who favored Candidate Z can use their second-round vote for another candidate in this “runoff” round.Oakland has been using RCV for a number of years now. Works well.  It prevents similar candidates from “splitting the vote” and accidentally electing a candidate that does not represent the position of the majority, or a “compromise candidate” that pleases no one but is better than an extreme alternative.

      • K October 5, 2022 (5:12 pm)

        Ballots don’t get “tossed out”.  At the end of the count, every person who voted will have exactly one vote in that election.  Not 2, not 0.  If your first choice was Goodspaceguy and he has the fewest number of total votes in the race, his results are eliminated and your #2 pick will become your #1 pick (and so on, down the line).  Goodspaceguy will still not get elected with instant runoff (ranked choice) voting, if that’s what the concern is here.

  • Rhonda October 4, 2022 (9:22 pm)

    N O

  • Mj October 4, 2022 (10:33 pm)

    My understanding is that ranked choice voting should make it harder for the extreme right or left politicians to win that I believe would be a good thing.  

    • Ivan Weiss October 5, 2022 (6:41 am)

      @MJ: That’s what RCV’s adherents claim. There’s no evidence that it is true. Any system can be gamed by any set of actors. Any system is susceptible to any set of extremists.

    • Frog October 5, 2022 (3:23 pm)

      Probably the theory is: RCV eliminates the primary election, and there is only a general election, which would typically have higher turnout, especially of less partisan, non-activist voters.  So it eliminates the possibility that relatively partisan primary voters eliminate moderate candidates in the primary, and leave general election voters with a choice between partisan extremes.  But any time RCV gives the victory to a candidate who was not in the top 2 of the raw vote, it’s done something different from an instant runoff.  In general, RCV smooths out quirks in election outcomes caused by arbitrary differences in how many candidates run within each segment of voter opinion.  To give a Seattle example, if 13 left-of-Mao candidates run against one ordinary leftist and one no-hope ex-Republican, the ordinary leftist could win in a primary-general system even when left-of-Mao voters constituted a majority.

  • Richard October 5, 2022 (9:47 am)

    This is a democratic election & the term, “multi-round vote-counting process” is VERY disturbing … multi-round, REALLY???  

    DOUBLE NO (1A & 1B) – that’s my “double vote”. 

    Most votes win, period.

  • John Whitmer October 5, 2022 (10:43 am)

    to Peter:You say with RCV some folks get a second vote.  If the RCV voting goes beyond the first round (i.e., no one gets a majority) everyone gets a second vote  –  no different in effect than a normal run-off, just more quickly.   If your favorite candidate isn’t eliminated, your second vote again goes  to your favorite.  Whether or not in any round your vote goes to the same or a different candidate doesn’t change the number of your votes.  All voters get the same number of votes.  If some folks got more votes than others that would be undemocratic.   

  • CatLady October 5, 2022 (12:10 pm)

    Almost everyone in the comments seems to hate RCV, so that means I’ll be voting FOR it. Thanks for the help, y’all!

    • Seattlite October 5, 2022 (1:26 pm)

      Wow…So no research on cause and effect?

  • James October 5, 2022 (12:45 pm)

    When can we vote out Harrell and Davison? They have been uber disappointing. 

    • WSB October 5, 2022 (1:00 pm)

      Neither has even been in office a full year yet.

    • Seattlite October 5, 2022 (1:25 pm)

      James…I agree that Harrell and Davison so far seem to have pulled the wool over Seattleites eyes that were expecting law and order and law enforcement improvements on Seattle’s streets.  Both have four-year terms.  But, there are avenues to get unexceptional, non-working failures out of office.

  • Eric Bidstrup October 5, 2022 (1:30 pm)

    RCV is already in use in 2 states and 55 cities in the US currently, and on the ballot in 8 other cities/counties this November, including Clark and San Jaun counties here in WA. Also used in multiple other counties.

    RCV has a proven track record of bringing wider representation to elected bodies. Until NYC had its first RCV election in 2021, women had never held more than 18 seats on the City Council. After they used RCV in 2021, women won 31 of the 51 seats, and 25 are women of color. RCV gives voters real options, and it changes the playing field for political newcomers or “outsiders”.

    Across the US, in places where RCV is used:

    1. 70% of voters approve of RCV in exit polls
    2. 71% of voters rank multiple candidates
    3. 90% of voters when asked say they understand RCV and that it’s simple to use

    Approval Voting has been used in 3 elections in 2 cities thus far in the US….

    RCV can help voters better express their choices. Many would like to see some form of election reform…More info can be found at rcv4seattle.org

    • Seattlite October 5, 2022 (10:09 pm)

      Eric…RCV is a political power play or gimmick.  Many voters are not even going to vote for more than one candidate but instead choose the ONE candidate that they researched.  Voter disenfranchisement is a huge problem using RCV because in the end only the majority of voters remaining in the final round votes count while ALL other ballots are cast aside.  Which means that the majority of voters did NOT vote for the two finalists….capeesh…   Ultimately, RCV is a scheme not a true majority vote.

      • Eric Bidstrup October 6, 2022 (5:46 am)

        Seattlite – RCV is over 100 years old, so hardly a “gimmick”. Publicly available data contradicts your claims.  Looking at the real world information might help you become better informed with actual facts.RCV simply allows voters to have 2nd (and 3rd etc.) choices when voting if there 1st choice doesn’t have a majority. It results in the winner actually having a majority of voters support them vs. the many races today where winners do not. 

      • K October 6, 2022 (7:05 am)

        Uh…  that’s not how it works at all.  For the readers here looking for accurate info about RCV, here’s an article that breaks it down rather well: https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)  Example #2 allows you to fill in a sample ballot to create your own example so you can see that even if “pastry” was your first vote but is far in the minority, you still get a voice after pastry is eliminated.

  • K October 5, 2022 (2:20 pm)

    What ranked choice does is shorten the “election season”.  Instead of having the primaries (pre-season) where candidates in one party fight with each other, before advancing to the regular season where they fight the candidate of the other party (because two-party system), they all just discuss the issues from the start, separating themselves from others of their own party and other parties all at once.  And the voting itself is, again, an instant runoff, so the primary and main election at once.  The only reason I could see to be so adamantly against it would be if you were really married to the two-party system, because it does allow third-party candidates to play on a more even field.

  • Scarlett October 5, 2022 (7:21 pm)

    RCV is a dumbing down of the electoral system that favors the least informed voters and enforces a safe status quo.  Total nonsense. 

    • Seattlite October 5, 2022 (9:53 pm)

      BINGO, Scarlett.

    • Jeff October 6, 2022 (9:00 am)

      RCV is BETTER than the current method. It is sorely needed and gives us access to more parties in the future. I am tired of “lesser of two evils” fake democracy. RCV is WAY MORE DEMOCRATIC!! The status quo is the current majority rule of one candidate that makes it easier for lobbyists to buy and control. It’s far far worse!

      • Scarlett October 8, 2022 (11:47 am)

        By diluting the meaningfulness of one 1st choice, RCV can produce a sort of unenthusiastic, mediocre and randomly generated “majority.”  I don’t think this is the way we want to go.  

  • Ivan Weiss October 6, 2022 (10:55 am)

    I feel sorry for the gullible fools who have convinced themselves that ranked choice voting will bring any positive change to the electoral system. All they are doing is projecting their fond hopes and desires onto a reality that is quite different. The system will remain every bit as susceptible to quacks and charlatans as it is now, and will add unneeded complexity to the present process. Half the people don’t bother to vote as it is. It is entirely counterintuitive to expect turnout to rise if RCV is adopted. Sadly, it probably will, because it is the new, bright, shiny thing. But that’s all it is. Vote NO.

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