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Absentee ballots make voting easier

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY — Now that Nov. 7 is rapidly

approaching and candidates are vying for attention in all media outlets, some

Valley residents still have voting questions.

The deadline for registering to vote has passed, but residents who did

sign up have two options. They can vote in their precinct's polling place,

which is listed on the back of their registration card, or vote by absentee ballot.

Voting by absentee ballot is a realistic option for many people who

are too busy to leave work to head to the polls. The ballot may be used even

if the voter is in town, and can be obtained by calling (206)

296-8683, faxing (206) 205-5080 or by mailing a request to the King County

Records and Elections Division. The request must include name, registered

address, registration number if available and a ballot mailing address.

In addition, the request form can be downloaded from www.

metrokc.gov/elections/voting, and the absentee ballot will be available

until 4:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Records and Elections office.

The absentee ballot can be filled in and returned immediately after

receiving it, but it must be signed by the voter and postmarked no later

than Nov. 7 to count.

Also, residents who end up in the hospital no earlier than five days

before the election and are confined there during Election Day can apply by

writing for an absentee ballot to be delivered by messenger on Nov. 7.

Local candidates have, in the past few weeks, been reminding

residents of the importance of voting.

"If you don't participate, then you can't complain later," said

Democrat Lori Bechtold, who is running for the state 5th District House of

Representatives seat against incumbent Cheryl Pflug. "People should

participate. Even if you don't know (all of the issues), even if you just know a little

bit, vote on what you do know. And if that's the best you can do for this

election, then that's a start."

Dino Rossi, incumbent Republican senator for the 5th District who

is running against Azziem Underwood, agrees.

"It doesn't take that much to take a look at and understand the

issue," he said.

To find out where candidates stand, or for information on

ballot measures, the State of Washington Voters Pamphlet is an excellent

source. The pamphlet was mailed to all registered voters, but it can be found

online at www.metrokc.gov. Each candidate usually has his or her own Web

site that can easily be found, and the League of Women Voters of

Seattle (LWVS) is an organization that exists to provide non-partisan voting

and election information. LWVS can be reached at (206) 329-4848

or www.sch.orgl/civic/lwvseattle.

Cheryl Pflug, stressed the importance of getting involved and

learning the candidates' stance on all issues.

"The decision that these people are going to make will affect your

schools, your family, your environment," she said, adding that one vote does

make a difference and can make or break a candidate race.

A memo Pflug sent to the Valley Record summed it up with the

following:

"In 1800, one vote gave Thomas Jefferson the presidency over

Aaron Burr.

"In 1839, one vote won the Massachusetts governorship for

Marcus Morton.

"In 1868, one vote saved Andrew Johnson's presidency.

"In 1941, one vote strengthened selective service before WWII.

"In 1960, one vote per precinct gave JFK the presidency.

"In 2000, one vote, your vote, can make the difference Nov. 7.

"Be the one."

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