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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
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
"In 1800, one vote gave Thomas Jefferson the presidency over
"In 1839, one vote won the Massachusetts governorship for
"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."