It’s almost time to start voting in the 2023 primary. The official voters’ pamphlets have been arriving, and King County Elections mailed ballots today – 1.4 million of them. Some may call this an off-year election but in our area, it’s more important than it’s been in a long time, with the incumbents leaving all three district-specific positions – City Council District 1, County Council District 8, and School Board District 6. None is exclusively West Seattle, but our community comprises most of each district, and the outgoing incumbents are all West Seattleites, as are most of the candidates. In addition to those three races, your ballot also includes one major levy. So here’s the quick refresher on those four major reasons to vote:
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1
Now expanded to include areas including Pioneer Square, Georgetown, and SODO, as well as WS and South Park
Lisa Herbold is giving up the seat after two terms. The eight primary candidates are (in surname-alphabetical order, and with each name linked to the campaign website):
The only forum with all eight was the one we presented in collaboration with the District 1 Community Network on June 6th. You can see the video – plus brief written summaries of the eight candidates’ responses to the 17 questions that were asked – by going here. Less than a week later, the 34th District Democrats presented a forum with five of the candidates; here’s our coverage, with video. And days after that, a coalition of mobility and sustainability-advocacy groups held a D-1 forum with four candidates and one candidate surrogate; here’s that video. In your Local Voters Pamphlet, the D-1 candidates start on page 35. You can also see all eight candidates in the city’s Video Voter Guide. (And if you want to explore who’s raised how much and from whom, this site is where to start.)
KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8
Areas including West Seattle, White Center, Vashon/Maury Islands, Burien
Joe McDermott is leaving this seat after 12 years. Candidates are:
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF DIRECTORS DISTRICT 6
West Seattle and most of South Park
Leslie Harris is leaving this seat after two terms. Candidates are:
This is a district-only vote in the primary, and then a citywide vote in the general. All three candidates are in the Local Voters Pamphlet, on pages 74 and 75. Only Topp participated in the Seattle Video Voter Guide.
KING COUNTY PROPOSITION 1
Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy
We reported on this measure here. In the Local Voters Pamphlet, you’ll find the summary and pro/con statements starting on page 78, and the full text starting on page 90. Want to see what it would cost you next year, compared to this year? Put your address into the King County Assessor’s Transparency Tool.
VOTING: The county predicts 35 percent turnout – you can prove that wrong. The four decisions above aren’t the only ones your ballot will ask you to make, but they’re the main ones. Voting starts as soon as you get your ballot, and you have until August 1st to vote and send your ballot back to KC Elections, either by getting it into an official ballot dropbox (they open tomorrow – here’s where to find them) by 8 pm that night, or by getting it into the USPS mail (no stamp needed) in time for a postmark no later than August 1st. In the contested races, the two candidates who get the most votes will advance to the November 7th general election (the city’s new voting method does NOT start this year).