You dont have to vote in Presidential Primary to cast your vote on local issues Feb. 19

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Washingtons Presidential Primary election is Feb. 19 and some local school officials and others are concerned that a lack of interest in the Presidential Primary races may end up hurting local measures also on the Feb. 19 ballot. And they want to remind voters they dont have to vote in the Presidential Primary, or declare party affiliation, to cast their votes for the local school levies that will also appear on the primary ballot.
There are a number of reasons why area voters may be less than enthusiastic about voting in the Feb. 19 primary election.
First, many voters are not happy with the Pick-a-Party Primary in which they have to declare party affiliation and can only vote for candidates of that party in partisan races. Many of those voters prefer the Top Two Primary approved by voters in 2004, but ruled unconstitutional by federal courts. Others prefer the Washingtons old Blanket Primary which allowed voters to vote for any candidate, regardless of party.
Still others will not participate in the Presidential Primary because of the way the states political parties are handling the results. Political parties have the authority to decide if they will use the Presidential Primary to allocate delegates to the national nominating conventions, or they can use the results of caucuses, or a combination of primary results and caucus results to allocate those delegates.
Washington democrats may choose not to vote in the Presidential Primary because the Washington State Democratic Party has decided to use only caucuses to allocate delegates in 2008 which, essentially, renders the primary useless and unnecessary. Local republicans dont fare much better as the State Republican Party has decided that it will use the 2008 Presidential Primary to allocate 51 percent of its delegates while the remaining 49 percent of the delegates will be allocated based on caucus results.
And others may feel that by time Washingtons Presidential Primary rolls around on Feb. 19, the races will, for the most part, have already been decided.
But north county voters should remember that whether or not they vote in the Presidential Primary, they can still vote on the local measures without having to declare party affiliation. And there are a number of important school levies that will appear on the ballot and deserve our support.
Voters in the Lakewood School District will be deciding the fate of two measures a replacement Maintenance and Operations Levy and a Technology Levy. Residents in the Arlington School District are being asked to approve a four-year replacement School Programs and Operations Levy while voters in the Darrington School District are being asked to approve a four-year replacement Maintenance and Operations Levy as well as a two-year Transportation Levy. Because state and federal dollars do not fully fund basic education, local school districts depend on the local funding. We owe it to our children and our community to approve these measures. So regardless of whether you cast your vote in the Presidential Primary races, take the time to support your local school district and vote Yes on the local levies which help ensure that our children are receiving the education they deserve.


To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Kris Passey or Scott Frank e-mail forum@marysvilleglobe.com.

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