This November’s election is big, with the entire Seattle City Council up for election and at least four incumbents out, and Move Seattle and Community Transit Now on the ballot. This Monday, October 5, is the deadline to register to vote or change your voter registration address.

You can register or change your address online, or go to the King County Elections headquarters at 919 SW Grady Way in Renton 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday, or go to the King County Voter Registration Annex, Room 440 in the King County Administration Building, 500 4th Ave, 8:30 am – 1 pm or 2 pm – 4:30 pm Monday.

You have to be at least 18 years old and a resident of the state for 30 days as of election day, but not as of the voter registration deadline.

For questions, call-296-VOTE.

45 Replies to “Voter Registration Deadline Monday (and Sunday Open Thread)”

  1. Just a fine-print clarification about the voter registration deadline: Monday is the deadline for on-line and mail-in registrations. If you miss the Monday deadline you can still register–in-person–at the Renton or downtown Seattle locations.

    If you are currently a registered voter in WA, but you haven’t updated your address by Monday, you can still obtain a ballot up to election day, but it will require a time consuming trip to Renton or one of the temporary voting centers that are set up just before the election.

    If you are a new voter in WA, you must register to vote (in-person) within 8 days of the election at the Renton or downtown Seattle locations.

    Monday’s deadline is important. It’s the deadline for quick and easy mail or online new voter registration and address changes for already registered WA voters. After Monday, you will have to appear in person to make any of those changes.

    And remember: the Post Office does not forward ballots or voters pamphlets, those items are returned to sender.

    1. And a clarification of my clarification…paragraph 3 should read: If you are a new voter in WA, you must register to vote (in-person) within 8 days of the election at the Renton or downtown Seattle locations if you miss the 30 day deadline.

  2. Tukwila’s plan to increase density in the Southcenter area may be moving forward. I’ve spotted a high rise construction crane on the Tukwila skyline.

  3. Wish Rider Alert postings re changed bus stops would have a simple map rather than a lot of gobbledegook wording. (Trying to insert picture of example but Paste button does not work:(

    1. … and placed on multiple sides of the stop sign. What I saw in Westlake Friday night was long lines of eastside riders blocking the rider alert for route 216/218/219.

    2. I agree. Also at stops with a shelter, the alert sign should be on both the signpost and in the shelter. During last week’s UW football game, on multiple times I had to explain to 5 people sitting in the 25th Ave/47th St shelter that the stop was closed and they had to walk to 55th St to catch the northbound 68.

      The sign was also a bit misleading. It said the 68 was diverted, but then said “all other routes are operating normally”. Except on Saturdays the 68 is the only route. Why even put that sentence on the sign?

      And a simple map saying “to catch the 68, walk north to 55th St outside the Kidd Valley burgers” would be very helpful for people not too familiar with the area.

      That being said, at least Metro did put signs up at all the affected stops.

      1. > Why even put that sentence on the sign?

        Perhaps because it concisely indicates that no other bus is going to come and pick them up either? It’s a relatively polite way of saying that if you are waiting for a bus here then you are SOL.

    3. Indeed. Apparently the bus stop at 15th Ave NE & NE Pacific St (the really awful one underneath the pedestrian overpass with the slow-moving mud slide encroaching on it) is closing next week for nine months for construction. Apparently there will be a temporary bus stop but where that will be is not clear from the sign. I went to the Metro Alert page and can’t even find mention of the new stop.

      1. NE Pacific near 15th! That is the stop where I took the picture I was hoping to post. I can’t figure out why some posts can include links but I am not able to copy and paste a picture of the Rider Alert sign.

  4. I would like to know, how come, if a route is consistently late on a certain trip, let’s say it’s due to leave the starting terminal at 5:30 PM, and get to the end terminal at 6:30 PM, and let’s say most of the time it gets to the end terminal at 6:40 PM, why don’t transit planners simply have the schedule reflect the reality of the route? If in reality the route consistently gets hung up by traffic or crush-loads of passengers, why isn’t the schedule written accordingly? Example: Leaves at 5:30 PM. Due at the end terminal at 6:40 PM? Why leave the schedule incorrect and not reflecting reality?

    1. In defense of the schedulers, they do that each shakeup. Schedule Maintenance hours are set aside, with minutes and sometimes an extra bus added to maintain headways on routes that chronically run late. There are many variables as to which routes get extra time, like budget, needs, how often it runs late, driver breaks, etc, but if you look at run times over the decades on all routes, you can see the results of traffic congestion over time.

      1. I thought it went without saying that I’m talking about the same routes being consistently behind schedule at certain times of day, service change after service change. So no, mic, you are incorrect. Today, the same route 245 that leaves the Kirkland Transit Center at certain times of day, will be at least 10 minutes behind schedule, just as it was 1 year ago at those times, and 2 years ago at those times, and 3 years ago at those times, etc. The schedulers did not add 10 minutes to the schedule to make the actual running schedule reflect the paper schedule.

    2. If you look at the weekday schedules, the run time from E-gate P/R to Kirkland TC is 35 min in the early AM. Take that same trip in the PM Peak and it’s a 66 min trip. That’s a result of congestion and minutes added to the schedule over time. There are precious few schedule maintenance hours to adjust every schedule, so routes like yours don’t get the love they deserve when only 1/2 hour or 15 min in the peak.
      You could ride on Sun at 11PM and probably get there earlier than the 34 min running time.
      We’ll get you there, if not late some times.

      1. Here’s what I’m saying. If, for example, I ride a route 245 that leaves the KTC at 5:30 PM, and by the time it got up to crossroads, it was 10 minutes behind schedule. And if I ride that same 245 a few times a month, month after month, year after year, and it almost always gets 10 minutes behind schedule by the time it gets up to crossroads at that time of day, then … why not rewrite the schedule to reflect the actual running time? I know you are saying that schedulers do adjust the schedule every service change, but I know there are instances they do not adjust them. I want to know why they refuse to. Why let the paper schedule be inaccurate and let the bus run late? Why not add 10 minutes into the running schedule on those trips that are consistently late?

      2. One other factor to consider is that drivers are not allowed to leave timepoints until the schedule says so, and are monitored for arriving early.
        Now, once you lock in a few extra minutes on the schedule. your forcing every driver, every day to drive slow enough to meet the new schedule.
        Careful what you ask for.

      3. I wish that was actually the case, there has been so many times where I’ve missed connections because the bus I’m on is late, and the bus I’m trying to transfer to leaves 2-3 mins early. even from major park & rides

      4. Cars never speed either. There are thousands of drivers and as you’ll never get every single one to do exactly the same thing. But the penalties for leaving early are higher than for leaving late, so in general it should make leaving early less common. Because it turns out that what passengers hate more than late buses is early buses. Both when they miss them, and when they don’t know how early to arrive in order not to miss them.

    3. I think it depends on the route. As said earlier, they do update the schedules. If the schedule is really inconsistent, they add the asterisk (e. g. *This is an estimated timepoint for public guidance only. Buses will proceed on arrival to the next timepoint. This may be before the time shown on the schedule.).

      It is a tough call. You want the schedule to be accurate, but unless you have a long layover, you can’t have accuracy when the buses are so often caught in traffic. Drive from downtown to Lynnwood at 5:00 PM every day and there is no way to predict when you will get there. If you wanted to, you could pretty much guarantee a 6:30 arrival time, but that means waiting outside your driveway for a very long time during light traffic days. But back to buses, I don’t think anyone would want to sacrifice their trip in that manner. Would you want a bus to stop and wait ten minutes on a light traffic day so that it could have a more reliable schedule? That would be nuts.

      So, yeah, those buses probably need updated schedules, but I don’t think the schedules themselves are a wide spread problem. The wide spread problem is that buses are often caught in traffic.

  5. On October 8, industry, supporters, friends, and stakeholders are celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day to raise broader awareness of the benefits of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies.

    Fuel cells generate electricity using hydrogen and oxygen in a chemical reaction, not combustion, with water and heat as the only byproducts. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are being deployed nationwide for a variety of stationary, transportation, and material handling applications. These technologies help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the reliability and resiliency of America’s energy infrastructure, and make the nation more energy independent.

    Show your support and join us on October 8 in celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day.

    For more information on how you can get engaged, visit us at http://www.fchea.org/h2fcday.

    1. If the hydrogen were generated by ionizing water, yahoo! You’d be right. But most is created from methane reforming, so it’s essentially just a natural gas powered vehicle.

      And of course the other product is Carbon Monoxide which is either burned to become Carbon Dioxide or used in some industrial process which diverts the CO for a little while. But it always ends up as CO2 eventually.

      So not green.

      1. In Bailo’s defense, hydrogen powered vehicles have the potential to be very green, just as electric powered vehicles have the potential to be very green. There is no reason why we can’t generate hydrogen using clean electricity. But we don’t even have a clean electric grid, let alone one that would allow a major increase in electricity due to the switch from gasoline powered vehicles to electric powered vehicles (whether the electricity comes from batteries or hydrogen created via electricity). To get there we need to do a couple things:

        1) Become a hell of a lot more efficient. This means we need to use a lot less electricity. This means that our transportation system needs to be a lot more efficient as well. This, of course, means a lot fewer cars, and a lot more public transportation (and a lot more walking and biking, which means a lot more urbanization).

        2) Switch to cleaner forms of generating electricity.

        3) Switch our transportation system to one based off of electricity instead of fossil fuels.

        All of these can happen at the same time, but if the third happens alone, then it is practically meaningless. As you say, it won’t be green, it will likely be the opposite (or at best a wash). The second isn’t likely unless we get the first. The first should be our priority, plain and simple.

      2. Which uses less fossil fuels: a tankful of gas, or the equivalent driving distance of natural-gas derived hydrogen? And if natural gas produces more greenhouse gases than gasoline, how much more less would it have to be to match gasoline’s emissions?

      3. I would add a to RossB’s list:

        4) add more generation closer to the consumption location. An awful lot of electricity is wasted due to the long distances we transmit it.

        5) add better energy storage. There are times when we have far too much generating and transmission capacity and others when there isn’t anywhere near enough. Those peaks happen almost entirely on business weekdays. The least consumption typically happens at night. Fuel cells could really help the energy storage picture but so far that particular aspect hasn’t been advanced far enough.

        Imagine the big, unused cooling towers they built out at Satsop turned into a huge electrolysis and fuel cell storage facility….

        In response to Mike Orr, on a unit of energy basis gasoline produces more greenhouse gas than methane. Much of the energy in gasoline is in carbon-carbon bonds while all of the energy in methane is carbon-hydrogen bonds, and thus much of the resulting emissions is water.

  6. I’m going to go out on a limb here. I’m going to volunteer my leadership to this comment section. A comment section without a leader is like a foot without a big toe. And Brent White isn’t always going to be there to be that big toe for us. I think that we owe a big round of applause to our newest, bestest buddy, and big toe, Brent White.

    1. I’m giving the the Bill Murray barracks speech from the movie Stripes! Sgt. Hulka, etc. Come on, people!

    1. It’s really quite surprising Portland ranks anywhere near Sesttle when you look at how horribly anti-transit the development pattern is in places like Beaverton, Cedar Hills and the unnamed places north of there, Tigard, Tualatin, etc. Vancouver is our most populous suburb, and probably close to half of its once nicely organized downtown has been demolished to create parking.

    2. Fascinating report. I wish they would include Canada, but my guess is they didn’t have the data.

      The only thing I don’t like about the text is that the author equates quality with popularity. The Seattle Sounders, for example, is the most popular soccer team in North America. It isn’t even close, either. Is this because the Seattle Sounders is a great franchise, winning championship after championship (the soccer equivalent of the San Antonio Spurs)? No, it is because we like soccer here.

      The fact that lots of people in the middle of the country take very few trips via transit may have more to do with the fact that they simply prefer driving. Like most things, it is multi-factorial. The quality of a system can certainly change the number (there is no way DC had numbers like that before the Metro) but saying that Belilngham has a better transit system than Baltimore is a bit of a stretch.

      1. Many of the smaller cities on the list – like Bellingham – are university towns. Sort of apples and oranges. It would have helped if the report had noted that distinction.

  7. Has Sound Transit published start and end times for service on Link once the new UW and Capitol Hill stations open? I’m curious to see if there will be a greater span of service, and if the first trips will still leave from Sodo, or further north.

  8. So … Why is it that when ORCA autoload fails for totally normal and routine reasons – cards canceled, expiration dates change, etc – you have to go to some special office or mail a physical check to pay the “debt”? Why can’t you just go online and add updated card information? Or go downtown and pay at a machine? Or gasp why does it add value to the card when card authorization fails?

    This has been like this since the system launched and if well off transit users (like in our household) find it annoying, it has to be a significant barrier to many in using ORCA especially when we so strongly recommend people setup.

    1. Damn good points. I agree. ORCA is the way to go for high-demand transit fare payment, with this glaring exception. The Skagit Transit fare machines hiccup quite a bit and of course, when you have the alternative of cash payment you have delays that add up to very genuine service hours and shrink the transit net.

    2. It’s a sneaky way to extract money from you. Some other automatic-payment services like gym memberships do the same thing and add a service fee on top (looking at you Gold’s Gym). Because they can say you authorized the charge in perpetuity. That’s why I use automatic payment as little as possible. I get my monthly pass at a TVM where I can get a receipt on the spot.

  9. Can someone point me to an “alternatives study”/feasibility analysis for the Lander Street Overpass. partially funded in Move Seattle?

    From a layperson perspective Holgate seems to be a much better placement choice. It actually connects with something that leads out of SODO.

    For the record, the Lander route will render SPS’ John Stanford Center unusable for a significant part of its current function (Ops/warehousing).

    Thanks in advance.

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