With less than two weeks left to return ballots, only 3.7 percent of Washington voters have done so, according to figures released Wednesday afternoon by the Secretary of State’s Office. The return rate is better in Spokane County, at 6 percent.
This being an off-year election, Secretary of State Kim Wyman is expecting a turnout of about 46 percent. We urge Spokane County to beat the average. To be counted, ballots must be dropped off or mailed by Nov. 3.
Along with two statewide initiatives, there are some important local races. The Spokesman-Review editorial board has wrapped up its endorsements. To read the full versions, go to http://www.spokesman.com/tags/2015-endorsement/.
Below is a brief recap:
Spokane Mayor: The problem-solving David Condon has earned re-election with innovative solutions to water, sewer and infrastructure challenges. However, putting the Police Department on firmer footing is critical.
Spokane Council President: Incumbent Ben Stuckart sometimes strays from the basics of city governance, but he is the clear choice over John Ahern and his divisive agenda.
City Council, District 1: Incumbent Mike Fagan harbors some extreme views, but he works hard for constituents and understands the issues much better than his opponent.
City Council, District 2: Businesswoman LaVerne Biel provides needed opposition to the council’s forays into regulating private-sector workplaces.
City Council, District 3: Evan Verduin wants to narrow the council’s focus, making it more business-friendly.
Spokane Valley Council, Position 3: Tom Towey’s embrace of sensible budgeting and regional cooperation make him the choice.
Spokane Valley Council, Position 6: Ben Wick offers a working person’s perspective and an important focus on transportation.
Spokane Public Schools Board, Position 3: Long-serving Rocky Treppiedi isn’t the most diplomatic board member, but he has a clear edge in experience and knowledge.
Spokane Public Schools Board, Position 4: Close call, but Patricia Kienholz impresses with intellect and public service experience.
City of Spokane, Proposition 1: A resounding no for a misguided plan that would give the city the highest minimum wage in the nation and constrain employer rights. If it were to pass, it would probably be tossed by the courts.
Spokane County, Proposition 1: Expanding the County Commission to five members would provide a more reasonable workload and make them more accessible to citizens.
Initiative 1366: Vote no on Tim Eyman’s messy, cynical bid to achieve a supermajority requirement for all tax increases. It would lead to the kind of gridlock haunting Congress.
Initiative 1401: Vote yes to stymie the grotesque practice of slaughtering animals such as elephants and rhinos for profit.
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