Evan Smith: A meaningless primary ballot in Shoreline

Saturday, June 18, 2011

See updated story

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

Shoreline voters will get a ballot for the August 16 primary election even though there are no primary contests for the Shoreline City Council, the Shoreline School Board, the Shoreline Fire District, the Shoreline Water District or the Ronald Wastewater District.

Voters will get a ballot with a single item, an election with only one candidate.

It’s the primary for a position on the State Division 1 Court of Appeals.

Unlike other non-partisan elections, elections for the State Supreme Court and courts of appeals appear on both the primary and the general-election ballots even when they have only one or two candidates.

Most Supreme-Court and court-of-appeals elections are in even-numbered years, when the primary ballot is filled with contests for partisan offices, but the District 1 Court of Appeals, which serves King County, is what a State elections official calls an anomaly, with elections in odd-numbered years.

The single-candidate election for the Court of appeals position will appear on ballots throughout King County, but most places in the County, like Lake Forest Park, have at least one meaningful contest on the primary ballot, but a few, like Shoreline, will get the meaningless ballot with a single candidate for a single office.


enos,  June 18, 2011 at 10:01 PM  

This post is incorrect and discounts the importance of the August election. On the ballot for Shoreline voters (and voters in Lake Forest Park) is the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy. The measure was unanimously endorsed by the King County Council, the 32nd District Democrats, and many human service organizations across King County.


Evan Smith,  June 19, 2011 at 6:07 AM  

Enos is correct.
The King County elections web site lists only the Court-of-Appeals election under "candidates on the ballot," but I had missed the section, "measures on the ballot." That section has, as its first listed measure, the Countywide veteran's and human services levy.
I sent a question to County elections officials about what's on the ballot, but I don't need to wait for an answer. I'll write a clarification Sunday.

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