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Washington primary ballot hosts just local elections

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August 16, 2011

OLYMPIA, Washington: Today, August 16 marks the last day for voters to turn in their ballots for this primary election. This election was the first in Washington to be entirely done via mail in ballots only. Pierce County had been the last of the counties to initiate mail in ballots in the state. No state races are being decided, just local issues across the state.[1]

The most significant local issue would be the Seattle tunnel question which is being voted on in King County. Though only one part of the proposed tunnel ordinance is being voted on, many still see the question as a referendum on the tunnel itself and if residents want this project to move forward. Threats from both sides have been heard throughout the campaign, notable those in favor of the tunnel commenting that the vote will not stop the tunnel because the state has already given the go ahead. Opponents of the tunnel though have been trying to find a better solution for replacing the viaduct.

There will be a total of 66 measures voted on in various areas, notably there will be only three issues on the ballot that asks residents about school levies. The rest of the measures deal with a variety of issues, district, city and county taxes, charter amendments and changing the elected form of government.

Residents have until 8 p.m. local time to return their ballots to the various drop boxes in their areas. Local areas have reported low voter turnout so far for the election, in Island county just over 900 ballots had been received by Monday. The county Auditor noted that even for a primary this election seemed to have a lower voter turnout than previously.[2] In Lewis county, the county Auditor noted that by monday just 26 percent voter turnout rate had been recorded so far.[3]

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