Opinion

Fill out, dont toss out those primary ballots

Ballots for the Aug. 21 mail-in primary election were sent out recently and have begun arriving in the mailboxes of the countys registered voters.
Many state and county officials have ballyhooed the Aug. 27 primary for a variety of reasons. Secretary of State Sam Reed recently praised the earlier date of the election, moved to August from the traditional date in September, by saying Im relieved the state primary has finally moved from September to August. The date change protects the right to vote for military and overseas citizens. It gives them more time to receive, vote and return their ballots for general elections. Reed also stressed the elections importance by stating These primaries impact our households more than any other elections.
But voters, upon opening and reviewing their ballots, may be wondering what all the excitement is about and may be tempted to not even bother filling out and sending in their primary ballots.
Why? The number of races appearing on ballots for north county residents can be counted on one hand with digits left over.
On the partisan section of the ballot, in which residents have to declare party affiliation, local voters will find only one race the Snohomish County Executive contest between incumbent Aaron Reardon (D) and challenger Jack Turk (R).
On the back of the ballot, the list of nonpartisan races is not much longer. Voters will be asked to vote for one of the three candidates in the race for County Clerk and one of the three candidates running for County Sheriff, with the top two vote-getters in each race moving on to the general election. Arlington voters will not find a single local contest on their ballots while voters in the Marysville School District will be asked to vote for the districts Director District 5 position on the school board. While the race originally had three candidates file to run Sherri Crenshaw, Lisa Vares and Corrine Diteman Crenshaw has since withdrawn leaving voters two choices.
Due to the small number of races in the primary election, voters may be tempted to toss out rather than send in their ballot. But that would be a mistake although the contested races are few, they are important and deserve our attention.
The executive plays a key role in county government, the sheriff is the countys top law enforcement officer and the role of the county clerk is often underestimated. These are all important positions and we owe it to ourselves and our communities that the most qualified candidates move on to appear on the November general election ballot.
Take the time, it wont take long, and fill out your primary ballot and make sure it is postmarked no later than Aug. 21. Voting in not only a right, it is a responsibility.

STF

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Kris Passey or Scott Frank e-mail forum@premier1.net.

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