More than 18 percent of Northshore ballots already in

Monday, April 22, 2013

By Evan Smith

More than 18 percent of voters in the Northshore Fire District had returned their ballots for the Tuesday election by Sunday night.

That would put the District well on the way to the number of ballots that some radio and TV stations have said is needed to make the election valid.

But King County elections spokeswoman Kim Van Eckstrom told me Monday that, while the benefit charge requires a 60 percent “yes” vote, it doesn’t need a minimum turnout.

Bond measures need turnout equivalent to 40 percent of the number of ballots cast in the November 2012 election. School levies require a simple majority. Other levies, like those in other fire and hospital districts, need the equivalent of 60 percent of a 40 percent turnout. But Van Eckstrom said that a benefit charge like that in the Northshore Fire District requires a 60 percent “yes” vote but has no turnout requirement.

Since voter turnout in November was about 80.5 percent, 40 percent of that is about 33 percent.

The six-year continuation of the District's benefit charge can pass with positive votes from at least 60 percent of the Tuesday vote.

Registered voters in Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and the rest of the Northshore Fire District (King County Fire District 16) may vote by mailing their ballots so they are postmarked by Tuesday, by leaving their ballots by 8pm Tuesday at a 24-hour drop box at the Lake Forest Park City Hall or one and three other locations around King County, or vote in person on an accessible voting unit at the County elections office in Renton. The elections office is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday and from 8:30am to 8pm Tuesday.


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