Primary ballots delivered today on Mercer Island

Islanders should receive their ballots today July 17, for the August 6 State Primary. If you’re a registered voter, make sure to check your mail over the next few days. Washington’s 2013 Primary is underway and county elections officials are mailing ballots this week to most of the state’s registered voters.

Because this is an odd-numbered year, the Primary, which ends Aug. 6, will be dominated by local races, mostly nonpartisan.

Mercer Island voters will see just two items on the ballot this year. There are no open City of Mercer Island or Mercer Island School District Board of Directors positions that have more than two candidates, so a primary for those is not needed. State Elections Division officials predict that Primary voter turnout will be about 30 percent— similar to past years. Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Washington’s chief elections official, said that while odd-year elections normally have lower turnout due to a lack of attention-grabbing statewide, legislative or federal races, they still matter.

“Local races can impact our daily lives significantly. I encourage voters to study the races and take a few minutes to fill out and return their ballot by Election Day,” Wyman said.

Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 6 or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots can also be returned to accessible voting centers during business hours.

If you aren’t registered to vote in Washington, you have until July 29 to do so. You need to visit your county elections office to register in person.

There are two items on the ballot. First, the position of the King County Executive. Candidates for that office include: Alan E. Lobdell, Goodspaceguy, Everett A. Stewart and incumbent, Dow Constantine.

Also on the ballot is approval of Proposition No. 1, a county parks levy.

The King County council has passed Ordinance No. 17568 concerning funding for parks, trails, recreational facilities and open space. This proposition would replace two expiring levies and fund maintenance and operations of the King County parks system; trails and open space for recreation, habitat and water quality; city parks; and zoo programs, all subject to citizen oversight. This proposition authorizes an additional property tax of $0.1877 per $1,000 of assessed value for collection in 2014 and authorizes increases by the annual percentage change in the CPI or the limitation in 84.55 RCW, whichever is greater, for five succeeding years. This vote will be determined by a simple majority.

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