Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Lake Stevens voters need a push when it comes to returning ballots

 


Ballots have all been counted and the results are in, except for the heated Lake Stevens Fire Commissioner race, which will most likely go into a recount soon.

And while it wasn’t a year for what most would call an important election, it is still important to cast your vote whether the election is a presidential, congressional, mayoral race or not.

This election year Lake Stevens residents were asked to vote on four city council seats, (three running unopposed), a county council seat, two school board seats, sewer and fire district commissioners, a couple of initiatives and a small handful of advisories.

While it may not seem like a ballot of much importance, all ballots have significance and should be considered important enough to take the time to cast your vote.

Lake Stevens had the lowest voter turnout rate in Snohomish County. Only 35 percent of the mailed ballots were returned.

16,260 ballots were mailed out, at the county’s expense, and only 5,836 ballots were mailed back. This really is an unacceptable number for any election.

I’m not sure how the state can make voting any easier. We no longer have to spend our time driving to a poll center, casting our votes. We don’t even have to put a stamp on our ballots and mail them back—Lake Stevens has a drop box at the North Cove Boat Launch near City Hall.

The county even mailed out Voter’s Pamphlets to help voters make an informed decision and websites are at our fingertips where we can look up any issue or candidate and find all we would need to know.

If you want more information than you can find in the voter’s pamphlet or on candidate websites, the county has candidate’s phone numbers and email addresses listed on their website so you can make personal contact with them.

For a city of mostly upper to middle class citizens, it’s pretty embarrassing to think that our residents couldn’t take a few minutes out of their lives to become familiar with and vote for initiatives and candidates.

I have even more concern for the special election that will take place in February 2014 where voters will decide on Lake Stevens School District levies.

My hope is that voters will understand the importance of education in our community and will take the time to learn more about these levies and what they mean to our students. But it won’t do any good if our 16,000 plus legal voters don’t actually cast their vote and return their ballots.

 

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