This post was updated on Monday, Oct. 16.
In our August primary elections, 40.49 percent of Seattle voters cast their ballots in our primary election. That’s a big deal: It’s the best turnout in 20 years for a primary without a presidential or mid-term election (and in our last primary with the mayor’s spot up for grabs, just 34.95 percent of folks voted).
Did you vote? High five. 🙌 If not, it’s cool. We’ll get you caught up so you can have your voice heard in our general election on November 7.
WHAT WILL YOU HELP DECIDE?
The official list of candidates is now out and here’s a look at the local races we’ll be keeping a close eye on. (This is for everybody in King County/Seattle, but you might have some other races on your ballot depending on your district.)
- Our mayor. It’s between Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon, which means we’ll elect our first female mayor in 91 years.
- Our two councilmembers. Either Teresa Mosqueda or Jon Grant will take one seat, while current councilmember M. Lorena González and Pat Murakami are competing for another.
- Our King County executive. It’s between incumbent Dow Constantine and Bill Hirt.
- Our King County sheriff. This one wasn’t on the primary ballot because it’s a nonpartisan office and there are only two people running: our current sheriff, John Urquhart, and Mitzi Johanknecht, who has been with the department for 32 years.
- Our Seattle city attorney. This is another one of those non-partisan, two-person races: The two candidates are Scott Lindsay, who’s been advising our mayor, and Pete Holmes our current city attorney who’s been at it for two terms.
- Our port commissioners. There are three spots up for grabs for folks who want to manage Seattle’s ports. For the first seat, it’ll either be Ryan Calkins or John Creighton. For the second seat, it’s between Stephanie Bowman and Ahmed Abdi. And finally, Preeti Shridhar and Peter Steinbrueck will vye for the third open spot. Don’t know what a port commissioner does? They oversee what happens at ports like our big Sea-Tac Airport. The South Seattle Emerald sums it up like this: “the Port Commission is like a hyper-local City Council which has influence over huge sums of money and property.”
- Our Seattle school board directors. It’s between Eden Mack and Herb Camet Jr. for District 4, Zachary DeWolf and Omar Vasquez for District 5, and Betty Patu and Chelsea Byers for District 7.
IS IT TOO LATE TO GIVE MY DEMOCRACY VOUCHER TO A CANDIDATE?
Nope. You have until November 30 to donate your four $25 vouchers to the candidate(s) of your choice. Take a look at the list of eligible candidates, and if you need a refresher on what the program’s all about, read our explainer from earlier this year.
HOW DO I VOTE?
- Make sure you’re registered. If you aren’t sure if you’re registered, check here. If you’re not registered, you can do that by mail or online here by October 9, or in-person until October 30. If you’ve changed addresses recently or if your signature has changed, update your address here or your signature here by October 9. (This is important because your ballot will be mailed directly to you and your signature will be verified!)
- Watch your mailbox. Ballots will be mailed on October 18 to your registered address.
- Get that ballot in. Drop your completed — and signed — ballot in the mail or at a ballot box (they open October 19) before the voting deadline on November 7. Locations for ballot drop boxes will go up here 30 days before the election.
- Track your vote. Tear off the piece of your ballot that has your tracking number and put your info in here so you can make sure your vote counts.
Check out this list for all upcoming candidate forums.
Any tips we left off? Know of other forums out there? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll keep this post updated with everything you need to know.