Editorial: Ensure your voice is heard in primary, get ballots in the mail

  • Friday, August 3, 2018 4:11pm
  • Opinion

The primary election is Aug. 7, when means it’s time to fill out and mail in your ballots — if you haven’t already.

In these days of uncertainty and insanity, it’s more important than ever to make your vote count and voice heard. Voting should be practiced until it becomes like muscle memory.

There are no local candidate races that will directly be affected by the August election in this Top Two primary state. All of the county and state races have either one or two candidates, so nobody will be eliminated.

The primary results, however, will serve as a straw poll for the races that are contested.

Republican Commissioner Rick Hannold is being challenged by Camano Island Democrat Janet St. Clair. Rick Felici and Lane Campbell, two longtime members of the Island County Sheriff’s Office, both want to lead the department. State Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, is facing Democrat Scott McMullen and Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano, is running against Democrat Dave Paul.

The results of the primary will not only help the candidates understand where they stand, but the primary will let them know if they need to do a better job of getting their message out. It will help the democratic process, but only if people vote.

A big turnout will built interest in the general election. It will let the politicians know that things have changed and more voters are paying attention. That they have to work harder for our votes.

There are also one or two local measures on the ballot, depending on where you live on Whidbey Island. Both are common sense measures that should be approved.

All Whidbey voters will consider a levy renewal request from the hospital district to fund ambulances, paramedics and emergency medical care. It asks for 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value in property taxes.

For a service that literally saves lives, that’s nothing less than a bargain. It’s a small hospital district, but emergency services are run as proficiently and professionally as any big-city department.

On South Whidbey, voters are asked to renew a property tax levy of 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to fund the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District. Voting in favor should be a no-brainer.

Park and rec on South Whidbey is an institution and an essential part of the community. The district runs four baseball fields, soccer fields, an administrative building, playground, skate park, restrooms and trails through Community Park. It offers a wide variety of programs for children and adults, from a rocket camp to classes on clamming. It’s worth the investment.

This year the state has made voting especially easy. Just throw your ballot in a post office box. Postage is paid.

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