Turn in election ballots by Tuesday

Voters in Marysville and Arlington have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to mail in their general election ballots.

It can’t get much easier as you can mail in your ballots free of charge. There are also dropbox locations in Marysville at City Hall, 1049 State Ave., in Arlington at 135 N. Washington and a new one in Smokey Point in the Lowe’s parking lot at 3300 169th Place NE. They are open until 8 p.m. election day.

Initial results of the election will be available election day a little after 8 p.m. at snohomishcountywa.gov/227/Election-Results

Locally, there are two initiatives on the ballot.

The Arlington School District hopes to pass a $107.5 million bond measure for schools. It is the same measure that failed a few months ago despite getting more than 55 percent approval. A 60 percent supermajority is required.

The measure would replace Post Middle School, make district-wide security and safety improvements, add eight classrooms and renovate Arlington High School, and make districtwide health, educational and infrastructure improvements. Supporters also say it would add classes for skilled labor and technical training, along with updating technology. They say the old bond will be paid off in 2020 so tax rates will not increase. Rather than wait, it would be cheaper to pass it now.

Voters in Fire District 15 Tulalip Bay will decide if they want to pay $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to improve fire protection. Supporters say it’s needed to fund full-time firefighters as the district is growing. Opposition comments state government needs to do more with less.

One of the hottest local races has been the race for Cascade District Court judge. Incumbent Kristen Olbrechts is receiving a strong challenge from Jennifer Rancourt. Both have received endorsements from city leaders and law enforcement. At the state level, another longtime local Democrat, John McCoy of Tulalip, is up against Republican Savio Pham for District 38 state senator.

The Independent Party’s Bert Johnson is running against incumbent Democrat June Robinson for position 1 representative.

State Sen. John Lovick, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Jeff Sax for District 44. For state representative from that district, Democrat Jared Mead is challenging Republican Mark Harmsworth.

At the federal level longtime Democrat Maria Cantwell is being challenged by former TV journalist Susan Hutchison, a Republican, to be our U.S. senator.

For U.S. representative, longtime Democrat Rick Larsen is up against a candidate from the Libertarian Party, Brian Luke.

Also on the ballot are two positions on the Public Utility District: incumbent Sid Logan against Mary Rollins for district 1 and Rebecca Wolfe vs. David Chan for position 2.

Statewide, two initiatives are getting the most attention.

Supporters of Initiative 1631 say new taxes are needed to reduce pollution, promote clean energy and address climate impacts.

Those against say the taxes are too high, there is no guarantee they will fix anything, and an unelected board would decide what to spend the money on, with no accountability.

Supporters of Initiative 1639 say it would increase background checks, training, age limitations, and waiting periods for assault rifles and would criminalize noncompliant storage.

Those against say the measure targets all semi-automatic rifles, including those used for hunting and target shooting. It would reduce firearms for self-defense without making schools safer.

Also, supporters of Initiative 940 say it would require law enforcement to receive violence de-escalation, mental health and first-aid training, and change standards for the use of deadly force.

Those against, many of whom are police, say it’s costly, would fail to improve training, would erode public safety, and would not reduce violent interactions.

Supporters say Initiative 1634 would prohibit new or increased local taxes on raw or processed foods or beverages.

Those against say there are no taxes on groceries, and this measure would deny funding to cities for programs their communities need.

Advisory vote 19 asks if $13 million in taxes OK’d by the legislature should be maintained or repealed.

Some important local measures also are on the ballot.

Snohomish County Proposition 1 supporters say it would allow a tax increase of 10 cents for every $100 spent in the county, with the money going toward a 20-year-old, outdated emergency communications system. Opponents ask why this wasn’t done earlier, we already pay a tax for E911 and a sales tax falls hardest on those least able to pay.

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