Registered voters in King County should start receiving their ballots for the Aug. 2 primary election this week, as they determine the general election field for several hotly contested races.
Residents will cast their ballot on nine statewide positions, sending the top-two vote-getters — regardless of party affiliation — to the November ballot. Of those nine races, five have incumbents not seeking reelection.
But along with the races for governor, secretary of state, and superintendent of public instruction, is the crowded battle to replace Rep. Jim McDermott in the 7th Congressional District. State Sen. Pramila Jayapal, state Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, and Metropolitan King County Council Chair Joe McDermott (no relation) are thought to be the frontrunners in that race.
Meanwhile, in the 36th Legislative District — which encompasses Queen Anne, Magnolia, Interbay, and Ballard — Reps. Noel Frame and Gael Tarleton, and Sen. Reuven Carlyle are running unopposed.
Also on the ballot in Seattle are a pair of measures.
Initiative 123 calls for an elevated park that would run from Pike Place Market to Centurylink Field along the current path of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Meanwhile, if approved, Proposition 1 would replace the expiring $145 million housing levy passed in 2009 with a $290 million measure to fund affordable housing.
Ballots can be returned through the mail with postage, or left at dropbox locations across the county.
Of the 24-hour dropbox locations, the closest options for Queen Anne and Magnolia residents are the Ballard Branch Library, at the corner of Northwest 57th Street and 22nd Avenue Northwest, and the King County Administration Building (500 4th Ave.)
Three accessible voting centers will be open for those who need assistance completing their ballot. Specialized equipment and trained staff will be available for voters with disabilities to cast a private, independent ballot.
The closest option for Seattle residents is Union Station (401 S. Jackson St.), which will be open July 29 and 30, and Aug. 1 and 2. The center will open at 10 a.m. each day, and close at 5 p.m. on the 29th, 3 p.m. on 30th, 7 p.m. on Aug. 1, and 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Those that aren’t currently registered to vote have until July 25 to register in-person at either the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, or the Voter Registration Annex in downtown Seattle (500 4th Ave., Room 440).
In the last two presidential election years, the primary had an average turnout of 41 percent.
In a release, Secretary of State Kim Wyman urged voters to cast their ballot to set up the races in November.
“This Primary is an important opportunity for the voters to express themselves on the leaders who will guide the state and our communities in the coming years,” she said. “I know people are really engaged in this highly unusual election year, and I’m hoping they will use their ballots as a means of expression.”
To learn more about the candidates and measures on the ballot, visit www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/elections/current-elections/august-primary.aspx.