Have You Received Your Ballot?

The County Auditor’s Office has mailed out ballots to all registered voters. You should have received your Saturday or perhaps today.

If you have not yet registered to vote, you may do so by 8 PM tonight, Monday, October 20. However, you must do this in-person at the Auditor’s Office. Their office is in the Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, Washington 98502.

There’s a drop-box located in the parking lot of the main Griffin Fire Station, at 3707 Steamboat Loop NW. Click here for more drop-box locations, throughout Thurston County. Ballots are accepted in these locations up to 8 PM on Election Night. Use this convenient drop-box; you do not need to pay postage for a ballot delivered to the drop-box.

If you believe you are a registered voter, but have received an address verification notice, instead of a ballot, please respond to the verification request as soon as possible. We have received initial allegations of “purging” of voter rolls. Click here for more information on these reports and suggestions on additional steps you can take to secure your rights as a voter, if you believe your valid voter registration is being questioned. Click here for a follow-up which clarifies what the County appears to be doing with these verification requests.

Click here for the County’s Elections web pages.

Good Neighbors Vote – Register Today

If you are not yet registered to vote — or if you have had a change of address and need to inform the local Elections Office of the change — please do so today.

Good Neighbors Vote. In Thurston County, voting is by mail. There’s a dropbox at the main Griffin Fire Station (3707 Steamboat Loop NW), so you don’t even need to pay postage. It’s easy to vote.

Click here to register to vote.

If you need assistance, call the Thurston County Elections Division at (360) 786-5408 and they will provide assistance. The TTY number is (360) 754-2933.

Deadline to Register: By mail or online is 30 days before an election (October 4) and by person 15 days before (October 20).

Register in person at the Thurston County Auditor’s Office, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502.

Need to change your address? Click here to get access to the online address change form.

Already registered? Click here to get access to candidate statements and photos for the upcoming election and maps to the nearest ballot drop box location or voter service center in Thurston County.

Not sure if you are already registered? Click here to find out.

Remember, the last day to register online for the General Election is October 4, 2008.

The last day for new registrations is October 20, 2008. This is ONLY if you have never been registered in Washington State. However, you must register in person at the:

Thurston County Auditor’s Office
2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW
Olympia, WA 98502

Ballots will be mailed October 17, 2008.

Click here to get all sorts of information on registering to vote and the upcoming election.

It’s Primary Election Time!

Ballots for the Primary election are now out and, if you’re a registered voter, you should have received yours in the mail. If you are registered to vote and have not received your ballot, contact the Thurston County Elections office immediately at (360) 786-5408 (TTY (360) 754-2933).

There’s a ballot drop box, located in the parking lot of the Griffin Fire Department at 3707 Steamboat Loop NW. It’ll close at 8 PM on August 19 (election night). This is a real easy way to get your ballot in, without spending a dime on postage.

Not yet a registered voter? You can still register in time to vote in this Fall’s General Election. Click here to register to vote online through the Secretary of State’s Office.

Washington has a new primary. It’s not a “Blanket” primary and it’s not a “Pick-a-Party” primary. Back in 2004, voters approved I-872, which created a “Top-2” primary system. This was finally court-approved by the U.S. Supreme Court this last March. The Top-2 primary means that every candidate appears on your ballot and the top two candidates in each race move to the final General Election on November 4. In a Top-2 primary, it’s possible that the top two vote-getters in a specific race will belong to the same political party.

Judicial and non-partisan races are handled differently. For example, for the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Supreme Court, and Court of Appeals, if any one candidate receives a majority of votes (50% + 1 vote), he or she will be the only candidate appearing on the General Election Ballot. If no single candidate receives a majority, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes will appear on the General Election Ballot.

For the Thurston County Superior Court, if any one candidate receives a majority of votes (50% + 1 vote) in the Primary, that candidate is elected to the position and the race will NOT appear on the General Election ballot unless a declaration of write-in candidacy is received within ten days after the Primary Election.

It’s particularly worth pointing out is there are some judicial races in Thurston County that will be settled by the Primary Election, and not by the General Election. Judicial candidates are, in my opinion, some of the most difficult for voters. Luckily, there is some help.

VotingForJudges.org is an award-winning web site which nicely lays out the candidates, their credentials, and any endorsements. Click here to visit the Thurston County elections page on the VotingForJudges.org web site.

Thank you, all you Griffin area homeowners who are both registered and actually vote!

Thurston County Elections has an excellent web site. Click here to go there.


Study Up for Judicial Elections at VotingForJudges.org

Many of the judicial races will be decided in this August’s primary. For this reason, responsible voters are advised to take a good look at their candidates this summer, rather than waiting until Fall.

VotingforJudges is a nonpartisan, impartial source of information about judicial elections in the state of Washington. The site was established in 2006 to provide information to voters in connection with the judicial candidates running for election that year.

The American Bar Association honored VotingforJudges with its 2007 Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, in the “New Media” category. In addition, the Atlanta-based Foundation for Improvement of Justice presented one of its Paul H. Chapman Justice Awards for 2007 to VotingforJudges.

Paul Fjelstad, the Kitsap attorney who designed and provides ongoing updates to VotingforJudges, was honored with the 2007 King County Bar Association President’s Award for his work.

Click here to visit VotingforJudges.org

Griffin School District to Ask for Replacement Levies; Community Forum Jan 31

Griffin School District will submit a ballot proposition to voters at the February 19, 2008 special election asking for approval of for maintenance and operation (M & O) replacement levies.

A forum on this proposal will be held at the school library at 7 PM on Thursday, January 31. The “Yes for the Griffin Kids” committee has asked me to explain school maintenance and operation replacement levies and respond to any questions people may have about property taxes at this forum.

If you are not yet registered to vote at your current address, you must register to vote by January 19, 2008 in order to vote in the February 19th. You can now register to vote online at
https://wei.secstate.wa.gov/onlinevoterregistration/Registration.aspx If you’re not registered to vote, click this link today!

This Griffin School District proposal will consist of a ballot proposition that is submitted to school district voters at the February 19, 2008 special election authorizing Griffin School District to impose the following M & O replacement levies:

  • $1,671,300 for collection in 2009; and
  • $1,766,900 for collection in 2010.

These are replacement levies replacing voter approved levies for collection in 2007 and 2008. School district M & O levies are authorized if voters approve a ballot proposition providing for the levies by a simple majority vote (50% plus one vote).

School district M & O levies are restricted by several factors. First, state law limits the amount of these levies that any school district may impose. Second, these are excess property tax levies that are only imposed if voters approve a ballot proposition authorizing the levies.

School district M & O levies are approved in dollar amounts, not in tax rates. If assessed values rise in the school district, the tax rate of the school district levy will lowered. If for example, the total assessed value in the school district doubled, the tax rate that is used to levy these taxes would drop by about 50% to generate the authorized amount of taxes.

Click here to visit the web site of the Griffin School District. Once there, find and click the “Levy Information” link to read further details on these levies.

If you have any questions about school district excess levies, please feel free to contact me. I hope to see you at the forum.


Upcoming Precinct Caucus and Presidential Primary Information

Plato said, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Well, folks, you pretty much cannot avoid it; this year’s an election year. And, with the Seahawks out of the playoffs and the writer’s strike in New York and Hollywood, the political season could be some of the best entertainment around. Here in Washington State, voters have good reason to be confused about their role in the presidential campaigns; after all, our voices are heard only after “Super Tuesday” and then there’s that bit about who’s picking their delegates when. You see, the Republican Party in Washington State is allocating part of their delegates from the results of the Presidential Primary, on February 19, and the rest from the results of the Precinct Caucuses. The Democratic Party, however, will allocate all their delegates beginning with the Precinct Caucuses on February 9.

This means, particularly if you are a Democrat, the Precinct Caucuses (and not the Presidential Primary) are where your voice will be heard, so far as the presidential candidates are concerned.

If, as expected by many analysts, the February 5 Super Primary narrows the fields to the top two or three candidates for each party, Washington’s Caucuses and Presidential Primary could be pivotal in selecting party nominees. We’ve already seen participation rates, in primaries and caucuses in the East, at higher-than-normal numbers. It’s not been since the early 1950’s that there’s not been a sitting President or Vice President on the ticket.

Community involvement includes exercising your right to vote.

To vote in the Presidential Primary you must be registered to vote at your present address by January 19, 2008.

If you are not yet registered to vote, you can now register to vote online at
https://wei.secstate.wa.gov/onlinevoterregistration/Registration.aspx If you’re not registered to vote, click this link and get to it!

February 6: Precinct Caucuses

Attend your precinct caucus, particularly if you are a Democrat.

If you are a Democrat, and are not able to attend your Precinct Caucus, you may designate a surrogate, to speak for you. For more information on this and other details for the Democratic Party Precinct Caucuses, click this link.

For Republican Party Precinct Caucus locations, click this link.

‘Not certain which precinct is yours? Click this link to look up your precinct location.

February 19: Presidential Primary

There’s a ballot drop-off location conveniently placed in front of the Griffin Fire Department Main Station at 3707 Steamboat Loop NW. For other locations, click this link.

Then, mark your calendars and participate in your American Democracy.

Washington State Republican Convention
Begins May 29, 2008

Washington State Democratic Convention
Begins June 14, 2008

Democratic National Convention
August 25 – 28, 2008
Denver, Colorado

Republican National Convention
September 1 – 4, 2008
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

General Election
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

For more information:

Thurston County Elections

Thurston County Democratic Party

Thurston County Republican Party

If I-933 is So Good, How Come The Oregonian Is Recommending a “No” Vote?

Throughout the debate regarding I-933, we’ve read and heard a great deal about Oregon’s Measure 37. I-933 is modeled on Measure 37, which was passed two years ago. Opponents of I-933 point to Measure 37 as a demonstration of the potential costs of I-933 while supporters of I-933 say that Oregon’s experience with Measure 37 proves that I-933 won’t be expensive and will achieve its intended effects.

Now The Oregonian has chimed in with its editorial, entitled “I-933: Don’t follow this Oregon trail; Washington voters should reject“.

If Measure 37 was so good for Oregon, why wouldn’t The Oregonian want it’s like to be exported to Washington state?

The Oregonian’s article starts clearly enough:

“You can have it, Washington. All of it: The millions of dollars in legal fees, the billions in potential property compensation and the infinite cost of watching precious places, such as Oregon’s Steens Mountain, possibly opened to development.

You, too, can have all this. All you have to do is pass Initiative 933.”

It continues:

“Measure 37 has spawned more than 2,000 claims in Oregon, requesting more than $3 billion in compensation. Those are big numbers, but I-933 would surely ring up much, much larger costs for the taxpayers who fund Washington’s local and state governments. Washington is dealing with tremendous growth-management problems, and in significant ways I-933 is even more radical than the Oregon law.”

And then, for me (a homeowner here in the Griffin Neighborhood), the clincher:

“It’s not worth it. Oregon’s property-rights law hasn’t led to a sweeping improvement in the fairness of the land-use system. Instead, it’s picked new winners and losers, led to substantial legal and bureaucratic expenses, bitter fights among neighboring property owners and a confusing, chaotic system that can no longer ensure careful growth management.”

I don’t want any part of that. That’s why I’m voting “No” on I-933.

And one last little bit of information. . . Lest you think opposition to I-933 breaks along partisan lines, there’s this information, from The Olympian:

“Mainstream Republicans have joined two former GOP governors in opposing Initiative 933’s proposed rollback of land use restrictions.”

UPDATE (10/25/2006): A new survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research strongly suggests that Oregonians regret passing Measure 37. The phone survey was conducted in mid-October among 405 Oregonians who voted in 2004.

Its key finding?

“In 2004, Measure 37 passed with 61 percent of the vote in Oregon. Yet, support for the measure has dropped precipitously. In fact, Oregon voters now oppose Measure 37 and if the election were held today, Measure 37 would lose by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.”

Read it here.

Click here for more information on “No on I-933.”