A Ballot–In Mid-summer???

Dear Group,

Ballots for the August 6 municipal Primary Election should be in your mailbox. Didn’t get one? Check your registration at MyVote.wa.gov. In 2017, the last off-off year Primary election, only one in five (22%) of the ballots sent out by the Spokane County Elections Office were turned in. This means that every single one of your family, friends, and neighbors you encourage to vote can have an outsize influence on our choices in November. The time to vote is now…before ballots disappear in the junk mail pile on the corner of the table or in the recycling.

The ProgressiveVotersGuide.com is a great reference. Click and read. This site provides clear-eyed orientation to candidates and issues. I have met most of the candidates the Guide recommends for the City of Spokane, and I have studied many of those it does not recommend. I agree with the recommendations–and with the cautionary notes about some of their opponents. 

After you’ve cast your ballot and talked to everyone you know, I encourage you to sign up with your favorite candidate, join their campaign, go out, knock on doors, talk with people, and encourage them to vote. This is where democracy happens–locally. The national scene always competes for attention, but right now it is a distraction, a distraction over which we can have little influence. Except for contacting our representatives we in Washington State get no say in national government again until the Washington State Presidential Primary Election on March 10, 2020. (Yes, it’s much earlier and it’s not a caucus, but that’s a story for another day.)

Participate in our representative democracy now, in this municipal Primary Election. This is where we live. What happens here ripples outward, and, conversely, what is happening in D.C. has echoes here, too. These municipal elections are “nonpartisan” in name only. Just a few minutes on most candidate websites will dispel the notion these election are actually non-partisan.

Keep to the high ground,


P.S. Using the Spokesman’s website’s Search function I looked back at the pattern of Editorial Endorsements (the opinion of Stacey Cowles) in 2017, the last municipal elections. If that year is a guide, most of Mr. Cowles’ endorsements will not appear before the August 6 Primary, but, instead, before the General Election in November. (In 2017, Editorial: “Our picks for local elections” appeared two days before the ballot turn-in deadline.