Ballots have been mailed out, Seattle. Now is time for you to do your civic duty and vote! But we know sometimes these elections can be confusing or at the very least, overwhelming. So in keeping with our tradition, we present to you this year’s Procrastinator’s Guide to the Election.
We took a look at the five biggest races and provided you with all the information we thought you’d need to cast your ballot. We’ve got the three biggest races in today’s newsletter and the other two plus more coverage in tomorrow’s newsletter. We’ll also put this whole guide on our website.
Still have questions that you need help finding answers to? Let us know and email us at [email protected]
When is Election Day?
Tuesday, Nov. 2
How can I return my ballot?
You can return it via one of the drop boxes located around the county. These dropboxes are open 24/7 and do not require postage. You can also return it via mail which also doesn’t require a stamp. Just be sure to get it postmarked by Election Day. They recommend getting your ballot in the mail by the Friday before Election Day, which would be next Friday, Oct. 29.
Can I vote in person?
Yes, but the county is strongly recommending people take care of registering to vote and updating registration info online, and getting their ballots in by mail or dropbox. The deadline to register to vote or update your info is Monday, Oct. 25.
What if I lost my ballot or ballot envelope?
You can request a new ballot here and a new envelope here.
How do I know if my ballot was received?
You can track your ballot using this link courtesy of King County elections.
What are all these ‘advisory votes’?
Here’s the deal: What you mark doesn’t actually matter. These votes are simply “advisory.” Tim Eyman — the same man who was caught stealing a $70 chair from Office Depot — was the one who created the advisory votes. Eyman’s initiative made it so every time the Legislature passes a tax increase they must put an advisory vote on the ballot of the next general election.
This race was left wide open after Mayor Jenny Durkan announced she would not run for re-election. Voters have the choice between two candidates who much like the other most contentious races this year, represent if they want to see the city move more toward the center (Bruce Harrell) or to the left (Lorena González).
➡️ What kind of Democrat do Seattle voters want running their city? (KUOW)
➡️ Harrell and González spar over Seattle zoning, housing and more in debate (Crosscut)
➡️ City Council careers show how mayoral candidates M. Lorena González and Bruce Harrell have served Seattle (The Seattle Times)
Bruce Harrell: Represented District 2 on the Seattle City Council from 2008 to 2020, served as interim mayor in 2017 for just five days, opting instead to retain his city council seat after Mayor Ed Murray resigned.
- Endorsements include: Congressman Adam Smith, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, The Seattle Times, Seattle Fire Fighters – IAFF Local 27, and Democrats for Diversity and Inclusion
- Podcast: Seattle Mayoral Candidate Bruce Harrell (Seattle Medium)
- After defending Ed Murray, can Bruce Harrell be a mayor to survivors? (Real Change News)
- Seattle Mayoral Candidate Bruce Harrell Talks Ideas to Reduce City’s Homelessness and Crime (KBTC’s Northwest Now)
M. Lorena González: Served on the Seattle City Council since 2016 as an at-large representative. She also served as the council president since 2020 as voted on by fellow council members.
- Endorsements include: Senator Bernie Sanders, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, King County Democrats, and Sierra Club
- González to Pioneer Square businesses: I hear your frustrations over homelessness (Puget Sound Business Journal)
- PubliCola Questions: Lorena González (PubliCola)
The surprising loss by Pete Holmes in the primary has pitted two seeming opposites against each other. Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is an abolitionist and public defender who has come under scrutiny for some of her past tweets regarding SPD. Ann Davison on the other hand ran for public office as a Republican and posted about attending a small Back the Blue gathering last August.
➡️ Seattle city attorney rivals face blowback over anti-police tweets, Republican affiliation (The Seattle Times)
➡️ Seattle city attorney’s race: A stark choice marks the 2021 ballot (Crosscut)
➡️ Stark differences on crime electrify race for Seattle city attorney (KUOW)
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: A public defender and self-described abolitionist. She started her own law firm which specializes in eviction and criminal defense.
- Endorsements include: King County Democrats, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, State Representative Kirsten Harris-Talley, State Senator Joe Nguyen, Council members Tammy Morales and Teresa Mosqueda
- Voter’s guide: An interview with Seattle City Attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy (Real Change)
- PubliCola Questions: Nicole Thomas-Kennedy (PubliCola)
- Nicole Thomas-Kennedy Wants Seattle to Compensate Victims When Their Stuff Gets Jacked. So Does the City. (The Stranger)
Ann Davison: Started her own practice after law school focusing on civil litigation, sports, contracts, and business transactions. Before that, she was a caseworker in the U.S. House of Representatives. Davison previously ran for Seattle City Council and Lt. Governor.
- Endorsements include: Former Washington governors; Christine Gregoire, Gary Locke, and Dan Evans, Seattle Restaurant Alliance, Seattle Fire Fighters – IAFF Local 27
- Seattle city attorney candidate focuses message on ‘making sure people are safe’ (MyNorthwest)
- Former Govs. Gregoire and Locke endorse Ann Davison for Seattle city attorney (The Seattle Times)
- *Ann Davison did not respond to Real Change’s interview request
City Council Position No. 8:
Teresa Mosqueda is seen as the clear frontrunner in this race, however, Kenneth Wilson surprised many by how well he did in the primary. That said, polls still show Mosqueda with a comfortable lead.
➡️ Seattle City Council Position 8 race is more competitive than expected (Crosscut)
➡️ Public safety Q&A with Teresa Mosqueda and Kenneth Wilson, Seattle City Council candidates, Position 8 (The Seattle Times)
➡️ Teresa Mosqueda still leads for Seattle City Council #8; Kenneth Wilson gaining ground (NW Progressive)
Teresa Mosqueda (Incumbent): She was first elected in 2017, and before that she worked as a consumer advocate for the Washington Affordable Care Act Exchange Board, Washington State Labor Council, as well as OPEIU Local 8, MEChA, and the Farmworker Coalition.
- Endorsements include: Sierra Club, King County Democrats, Seattle Fire Fighters – IAFF 27, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and Attorney General Bob Freguson
- Voter’s guide: An interview with Teresa Mosqueda, for Seattle City Council Position 8 (Real Change)
- Teresa Mosqueda 2021 Questionnaire – Seattle City Council Pos. 8 (The Urbanist)
Kenneth Wilson: Worked as a professional engineer and owns a small engineering business in Seattle, he’s been associated with the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Structural Engineers Association of Washington.
- Endorsements include: List of commendations can be found on his page.
- Seattle City Council Position 8 race is more competitive than expected (Crosscut)
- Voter’s guide: An interview with Kenneth Wilson, for Seattle City Council Position 8 (Real Change)
City Council Position No. 9:
Lorena González left this seat open after announcing her run for mayor. This at-large position pits two very different candidates against each other. While Nikkita Oliver wants to move the city council more left, Sara Nelson hopes to bring it to the center.
➡️ Sara Nelson and Nikkita Oliver miles apart in race for Seattle City Council (KUOW)
➡️ Seattle’s District 9 race: How Oliver and Nelson’s visions diverge (Crosscut)
➡️ In high-profile Seattle City Council race, Nikkita Oliver and Sara Nelson call for different kinds of change (The Seattle Times)
Nikkita Oliver: A community organizer, abolitionist, artist, and attorney. They most recently were the executive director of Creative Justice and taught a course on abolition for Seattle U.
- Endorsements include: Sunrise Movement Seattle, National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda and Tammy Morales
- Voter’s guide: An interview with Seattle City Council position 9 candidate Nikkita Oliver (Real Change)
- Nikkita Oliver 2021 Questionnaire – Seattle City Council Pos. 9 (The Urbanist)
Sara Nelson: Co-founded Fremont Brewing with her husband, served as a legislative advisor on the city council
- Endorsements include: Former Washington governors Gary Locke and Dan Evans, Seattle Fire Fighters – IAFF 27, Allied Arts, Iron Workers Local #86.
- Q&A: Sara Nelson looks to bring public service and private sector experience to Seattle City Council (Washington State Wire)
- Sara Nelson Said Fremont Brewing Didn’t Lay Off Anyone During the Pandemic. Unfortunately, That’s Not True. (The Stranger)
- Seattle council candidate Sara Nelson outlines plan for homelessness, policing (MyNorthwest)
King County Executive:
Dow Constantine has served three terms in this position, and he has never faced a strong challenger in any of his reelection campaigns, until now. Joe Nguyen is hoping that voters want a change, but right now polls have Constantine well ahead in the race.
➡️ In King County executive race, candidates Dow Constantine and Joe Nguyen snipe over competence, urgency (The Seattle Times)
➡️ County Exec Candidates Spar Over PACs, City Finally Funds Street Sinks (PubliCola)
Dow Constantine (Incumbent): Assumed office in 2009, before that he served in the state House of Representatives from 1996-2000, the state Senate from 2000-2002, and the King County Council from 2002-2009.
- Endorsements include: Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Iron Workers Local #86, Seattle Fire Fighters – IAFF 27, Senator Patty Murray, Gov. Jay Inslee, and former Washington governors Gary Locke and Christine Gregoire.
- Voter’s guide: An interview with King County Executive incumbent, Dow Constantine (Real Change)
- Dow Constantine 2021 Questionnaire – King County Executive (The Urbanist)
Joe Nguyen: Became the first Vietnamese American elected to the state Senate representing the 34th District.
- Endorsements include: The Urbanist, UAW 4121, Transit Riders Union, State Senator Bob Hasegawa, State Representative Kirsten Harris-Talley
- Voter’s guide: An interview with King County Executive candidate, Joe Nguyen (Real Change)
- Joe Nguyen 2021 Questionnaire — King County Executive (The Urbanist)