Sunday, July 29, 2012

Primary/General Election

For the purposes of being concise, I'm providing a link to King County Elections for questions on caucusing, and primary and general elections. This website is full of valuable information to explain the process of electing delegates for presidential elections, and how the parties develop their platforms. There is also an explanation on the website for why Washington State is not holding a primary election this year. In short: the governor and legislature decided to suspend the 2012 presidential primary election to save WA 10 million dollars. The primary presidential election will resume in 2016.

The Washington State Primary election is Aug. 7, 2012. Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 7. There is also a Ballot Drop Box at City Hall in Issaquah.

Nov.6th 2012 is the General Election date for State Legislature,  Congressional, Senatorial, Gubernatorial (governor's race), and Presidential races. Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 7th.

If you are a mail in voter, its beneficial to vote, and send in or drop your ballot as soon as possible. It puts less stress on election staff. 

For more information on voting in King County click Here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What District Am I In? What's a District Anyway...

Please do not feel foolish if you hear about districts and are completely lost. When I took Political Science it took us a while to understand what goes on here too. I'll try to make it simpler than my professor did :)

If you are confused by all the political yard signs you see around Issaquah right now and wonder why in the world there are so many different ones just a few miles away--you are not alone. It is because we have been redistricted. Every 10 years Washington State "redistricts". A district is an area of a population.There are a certain number of districts that are each represented by a person who sits in the State Senate and House of Representatives of the Washington Legislature. There is also a much larger district that is represented by the House and Senate in Congress. Your ballot in November will have both. Both districts have been redrawn. The reason why there are so many districts is because of the growing population...hey WA is a great place to live. To be properly represented and insure legislation by the people, we have to have the proper number of representatives. "No taxation without representation." Your representative is the person you complain to...or compliment.

You will also vote on Senators this year and Governor, but I won't go into detail here because those races affect our whole State and are covered thoroughly by various media.

The redrawing of the districts is done by a committee of four commissioners and a non-voting chair. They are appointed by the Legislature. The commissioners consist of two Democrats and two Republicans. Here is a link to find out more about the redistricting commission.

Now here is the fun part! You can look at this map to find out what Legislative district you live in and then you can find out more about the person running for office for that district. Issaquah is in two Legislative (Washington State) districts: 41 and 5. Issaquah Valley Elementary is in District 5.  If you live in Issaquah you are in Congressional District 8. When looking up Legislature and Congress make sure you mark the bubble for which map you want to see.

The primary elections held in August will determine the two contenders for the seats. In November we will vote again to see who wins! For the purposes of our PTA, I'm only listing the folks running for office. To eliminate any bias I'm listing them alphabetically. This will give you a chance to know who the candidates are and inform yourself about them in the way you see fit.

LD= Legislative District (State Legislature)
CD= Congressional District (US Congress)

LD 5 Senate: Mark Mullet, Brad Toft
LD First Seat House: Jay Rodne 
LD Second Seat House: Ryan Burkett, Chad Magendanz, David Spring

CD 8 House of Representatives: Kieth Arnold, Earnest Huber, Karen Porterfield, Dave Reichert, Kieth Swank, James Windle

On October 12th, our PTA at IVE will be hosting a Candidates Forum where we will allow the winners of the primary election to answer our questions and let us know how they intend to uphold the education system of our state and our country. We have held this before in years past and this time we are opening it to our new 8th district Congressional Candidates. Mark your calendars, and you will hear more about this after school starts. The event is not a debate, but rather an opportunity for us to hear what these candidates have to say about education. The forum will be focused only on the topic of education.

Thanks for reading and enjoy learning about the candidates and your district.

Sources: Information about redistricting commission taken from the About, and The Commission section. Retrieved 7/10/12. Map retrieved 7/10/12.