Heading to the Polls

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY _ They've stood on the stump, strategized over speeches and

defended their track records during numerous debates.

Now it's time for local residents to select who will represent them

in Olympia and Washington, D.C.

On Nov. 7, polling places throughout the Valley will open at 7 a.m.

sharp for voters to cast their ballots on a wide array of candidates and issues.

Polls will remain open until 8 p.m.

According to the King County Records and Elections Division,

the 2000 election is the largest ever for the county, with officials estimating

that more than 1,060,000 residents will be eligible to vote on Election Day.

As of Oct. 5, there were 1,040,251 registered voters in King County, the

highest number in the county's 141-year history.

Voter turnout is expected to be as high as 77 percent, election

officials said.

National polls suggest the race for president is a statistical dead heat

between Republican Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Democratic Vice

President Al Gore. Washington has been dubbed a "battleground state" by

the national media, and the major-party presidential campaigns have

made stops east and west of the Cascades, as well as conducting an all-out

advertising blitz on local television stations.

Another race garnering much media attention is that of incumbent

Republican Sen. Slade Gorton against Democrat Maria Cantwell. Gorton

has pushed for ending bureaucratic red tape in Washington, D.C., as well

as protecting the environment through local decision making.

Cantwell, a former United State congresswoman and executive

with the Internet company RealNetworks, has refused to take

special-interest money while vowing to protect

Social Security and expanding Medicare to cover prescription drug costs.

In the 8th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Rep.

Jennifer Dunn is being opposed by Democrat Heidi Behrens-Benedict. In the

1st Congressional District, Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is being

challenged by Republican Dan McDonald.

Several state races are up for grabs, as well, with Republican John

Carlson challenging incumbent Democrat Gary Locke's bid for a second term.

Locally, Sen. Dino Rossi, a Republican, is seeking re-election to his

5th District state Senate seat against Democrat Azziem Underwood.

Also in the 5th District, Republican Glenn Anderson, Democrat Di Irons are

vying for the state House of Representatives Position 1 vacancy, and

incumbent Republican Cheryl Pflug is facing Democrat Lori Bechtold in

the Position 2 race. See pages 10-13 for 5th District candidate's responses to

a Valley Record questionnaire.

In the 45th District, incumbent Republican Rep. Kathy Lambert is

running against Democrat Jim Gordon for the Position 1 seat, and Rep.

Laura Ruderman, incumbent Democrat, faces Republican Toby Nixon.

Six statewide initiatives will be on the ballot, including I-713,

which would outlaw catching animals with "body-gripping traps" or

poisoning them; I-722, which would limit property-tax increases to 2 percent

annually, except for new construction; and I-745, which would force 90

percent of transportation funds to be spent on roads.

Also on the ballot, Riverview School District will ask residents

in Carnation and Duvall to approve a $2.995 million athletic bond for a

football/soccer field and track at Cedarcrest High School. And

King County Executive Ron Sims wants voters to OK Proposition No. 1,

which would create a 0.2 percent sales tax to fund existing and future Metro

transit service.

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