Site icon League of Women Voters of Kittitas County

Early Ballot Returns Sluggish

As of 10/31, completed ballots have only trickled in.

During the last odd-year election (2017), fewer than 37% of the ballots were returned. That means decisions made that affect your daily life…those were made by the roughly 1 in 3 voters who sent in their ballots. With only 5 days remaining in the current election cycle, county voters look to repeat the low turnout: just 17.5% of the 26, 670 issued ballots have been returned.

Where is election excitement?!

Apparently, the folks in Roslyn, Water Districts 5 & 7, and Fire District 7 are engaged in the current election. Each of these races show ballot returns in the over 20% range.

Where are the voters?

The knee-jerk reaction is to attribute low returns elsewhere in the county as citizen disengagement and while that may certainly play a part, we prefer to view this as lack of understanding.

The truth is, most of the ballot choices in 2019 have to do with obscure Districts, Boards, and Commissions about which voters are woefully under-educated. The League of Women Voters has tried to help with posts on why local elections matter and by holding Candidates Night events to introduce candidates to voters. We even created a 2019 Voter’s Guide page as a one-stop source of all things on the ballot. And there is always Vote411.

In reality though, it will be up to YOU to get out the vote. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors whether they have returned their ballots. One-on-one contact really helps folks follow through and vote. If you get a ‘not yet’ PLEASE sit down and help. Use the state-issued Voter Pamphlet (the Auditor’s office has copies!), and other unbiased sources of information to assist your circle to get their ballots completed and turned in.

Ballots are due by 8pm Tuesday, November 5.

VOTE! It matters.

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