Ballots are here - some things you might want to know

Friday, October 19, 2018

By Diane Hettrick

My ballot arrived today - it had a few surprises and in some ways was easier than I expected.

I'll be glad to see the TV ads disappear, although I always remind myself that they are good for the economy.

A few things you might want to know:

Initiative 1631 - pollution tax - Seattle Times info

The Yes side says the tax will be on the polluters and the money will be used for cleaning up pollution. The No side says there's no plan for how the money will be spent.

Initiative 1634 - taxes on "certain items intended for human consumption" - Seattle Times analysis here

This is all about Seattle and the tax they put on high sugar drinks. Shoreline and Lake Forest Park do not have such a tax, although I was told that at least one 7-11 was passing on the cost to Shoreline residents. The soda industry, such as Coca-Cola, has poured millions into the YES campaign, implying that groceries will be taxed and little old ladies will be unable to afford food. Grocery taxes are prohibited in the state. If you have no problem with Seattle taxing sugar-laden drinks, vote No.

Initiative 1639 - firearms

There has been so little publicity on this that I forgot it was on the ballot. I'm so surprised that the NRA didn't blanket the airways with ads - maybe I watch the wrong channels. This initiative is a collection of the ideas to make the community safer without restricting gun ownership - but I suspect you already have a position on this.

Initiative 940 - law enforcement - Seattle Times article

The ballot wording sounds innocuous but the Times analysis says it's about making it easier to "prosecute law-enforcement officers who have allegedly misused deadly force." The Seattle police union is against it, Tim Eyman filed a lawsuit against it, the legislature was crafting a competing bill, and the Washington supreme court decided what would go on the ballot. It all sounds very messy.

What you really need to know about initiatives is that they are submitted by citizen groups. After two years, the legislature can start amending them, and they usually do.

Advisory Vote 19 - pipeline taxes

The state currently levies taxes on oil that arrives by ship and rail, so there is money immediately available to clean up spills. This extends the tax to oil that arrives by pipeline. If you agree, vote to "Maintain."

These races are on the ballots:

United State Senator
  • Maria Cantwell (incumbent)
  • Susan Hutchison (previous chair of state Republican party)
U.S. Congressional Representative
  • Pramila Jayapal (incumbent)
  • Craig Keller
State Legislature 32nd District - Shoreline only
  • Senate
    • Jesse Salomon (Shoreline Deputy Mayor)
    • Maralyn Chase (incumbent)
  • Representative Pos 1
    • Cindy Ryu (incumbent)
    • Diodato (Dio) Boucsieguez
  • Representative Pos 2 - retiring Ruth Kagi's seat
    • Lauren Davis
    • Frank Deisler
State Legislature 46th District - Lake Forest Park only
  • Senate
    • David Frockt (incumbent)
    • Beth Daranciang
  • Representative Pos 1
    • Gerry Pollet (incumbent)
    • Jeff Patton
  • Representative Pos 2
    • Javier Valdez (incumbent)
    • Jerry Zeiger-Buccola
King county prosecuting attorney
  • Dan Satterberg (incumbent)
  • Daron Morris

Here's where we got to skip some work. Most of judicial candidates are running unopposed. The race with a challenger is State Supreme Court Justice Pos 8. Incumbent Steve Gonzalez is rated Exceptionally Outstanding by every group that rates judges.

According to my favorite site, his challenger Nathan Choi's only notation is that he "refused to cooperate" with the King County Bar Association.

Shoreline District Court

We have a contested race for an open seat (formerly held by retiring justice Doug Smith) on the Shoreline District Court.
Their information was not included in the Voters' Pamphlet. There was a rumor that a supplemental pamphlet would be mailed out, but apparently not. The state does have their voters' pamphlet information online and I have linked it to their names (above).

They are also covered in and here are the specific links:
Incumbent district court judge Marcine Anderson is running unopposed.

Voters' Forum

I've been informed that Meridian Park PTSA will have a voters' forum on November 1, so you'll have another opportunity to get information.

10-20-18  Updated to include a judicial race for State Supreme Court.
10-25-18  Corrected the position of the soda-pop industry on Initiative 1634.


Unknown October 20, 2018 at 12:11 AM  

I filled mine out and forgot the sleeve. I opened to put sleeve around ballot and ended up ripping the envelope. I taped it shut. Will it still be valid? The sleeve is undamaged and ballot. Just the red envelope is ripped.

Laura October 20, 2018 at 9:24 AM  

Thanks for the breakdown!

DKH October 22, 2018 at 12:22 PM  

King County Elections responded to my inquiry and said:

"Yes, a taped return envelope is acceptable. Also, in the future it is OK if a voter forgets to use the security sleeve. We will still accept the ballot."

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