Unless you’re really into the arcana of American politics, you may not have realized that today is Election Day.

We didn’t do formal endorsements this year, but I explained why Seattle voters should approve Prop. 1. Furthermore, Seattle Subway did their homework and released endorsements informed by very similar principles to what I would have used as a member of the Editorial Board.

Beyond Prop 1, virtually the entire state government is up for grabs. Olympia has vast power over land use and transit outcomes in Seattle and everywhere else in Washington. I hear there are some federal races too.

It is not a good idea to use the US Postal Service this late in the process. Instead, find your nearest drop box and insert your ballot no later than 8pm tonight.

Or, if you need more assistance, managed not to register to vote, or are just old-fashioned, don a mask and register and/or vote in person.

Finally, if like most eligible people you’ve already voted, please track your ballot today so that you have time to rectify any problem that arose.

21 Replies to “Last chance to vote in the general election!”

  1. You can also check your ballot status here (the provided link above seems to just time out for me) https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx

    Note the wording is a bit off as its combining voter registration and voter status into one prompt box.

    Once you log in look to the left and find “Ballot Status”. If it says “Accepted” at the bottom of the result then everything is fine. If not it should indicate why your ballot is being rejected/challenged.

  2. Martin, thanks for the suggestion. Turns out my ballot really did get loose early this morning, and headed straight for a nearby farmer’s chicken coop across the fence from the voting center at the Community College.

    Luckily, though, your alert reached me in time for me to hop on Intercity Transit Route 12 and get over there and grab it before it ate anything. Shame on you, Marko, though I shouldn’t have left it in the City Hall drop box all that time. I need to realize how important it is for a young ballot to feel Accepted.

    Mark Dublin

  3. Metro isn’t running its ETB’s today. I’m currently riding a Gillig on the 49, which is likely unusual for them.

  4. Here is when I again make my neglected plea for adding ballot drop boxes at a few Link stations. While several are just a block or two from a Link station, it’s a needless hassle to get to them — and it adds significant difficulty for people with mobility issues that rely on transit.

    There is such little cost involved adding drop boxes that I just don’t get why there isn’t general support for this. Not only would it help transit riders, but many stations are visible neighborhood hubs so even non-riders would know where to drop their completed ballots and the drop boxes would be better monitored if they were in stations by security cams and a regular flow of riders.

    1. Al S., in all ways, transit and voting belong permanently together.

      But Sam, is there any possible chance that if the Election trends the other way, somebody might slow the Route 49 even worse by cancelling his recent nationwide “Stay Back and Stay Ready” order?

      Last I checked, “Boo-ga-LOO” was not a form of a sneeze. So ’til we find out for sure….Gesundheit.

      Mark Dublin

    2. It’s probably something they never thought of. In transit-oriented cities, all kinds of services and everyday needs are arranged around transit stations, so people can stop there on the way home or while transferring, and people go there often anyway. But we have half a light rail network which is still fairly new and it hasn’t yet sunk in that we should locate more things around them and expect that the majority will take transit to them. Instead we put them where it’s convenient for drivers or the lowest-cost space, and never think about the hordes who would take transit to them if they were located in transit-friendly locations.

      When I want to check out a book or have books to return, I’m happy if they’re at the Beacon Hill library because it’s easy to get to on Link. The West Seattle library is located far in north Admiral, two blocks east of the arterial in a single-family block. I would cry if that were my closest library; it doesn’t serve the West Seattle urban village very well. And if you live outside it and you want a book that’s only there, you might as well put it on hold and wait a few days rather than spending hours going to an isolated library. Whereas if the library were at the Junction, you could just take the C in to it, and a lot of other people would be taking transit to it from different directions too.

      1. The concern for many retailers is you can’t carry much on a train or bus. A gallon of milk weighs 8 pounds alone. A large bag of cat litter 40 lbs. Beer weighs a lot too.

        This is the reason Kemper Freeman didn’t want East Link running down Bellevue Way where it would have made the most sense, and why he has so much surface parking. Plus his preferred customer — younger women — often need to carry lots of things, like strollers, kids, bags with bottles and diapers, etc. Don’t laugh: one of the first cases I was assigned while working for a federal judge was a dispute over wicking technology for disposable diapers. Even in the late 1980’s it was a $6 billion/year market. As one lawyer put it, when the prince has diaper rash even the King is powerless.

        For advertisers and retailers the absolute worst customer is an elderly male, married or unmarried. It is like advertising on senior golf.

        Mothers on the eastside buy bags and bags of groceries at a time. Then there is the dry cleaning, vet, plant nursery, pediatrician, and so on.

        It is why large grocery stores generally have large parking lots. Any kind of retail at a transit stop or transfer area would likely be minimarts and snack shops because they would never attract the best demographic, women and mothers, and can never compete against the Costco’s, QFC’s, Met Markets, or malls. Commuters just want to get home, or to the park and ride and then to a store.

        Most people don’t build their lives around transit, or use transit on weekends to go to Home Depot, which is why these large retailers don’t care about transit proximity. While some love transit and its complexity, and some believe it can fundamentally change society, the fact is most who use transit do so because they have to, mostly for commuting on the eastside, which may be ending for many. Without commuting by transit they won’t take transit because they prefer to drive because it is more convenient, and parking is free where they want to go (or they don’t go there). So the retailers cater to them because they buy most of the stuff in America. The places where retail and transit meet transit followed retail.

  5. As of last night, 72% of eligible voters in Washington State have already returned their ballots and had them accepted. In King County, that’s up to 75%.

    This’s well ahead of four years ago, when we only had 52% returns one day before the election.

    Well done, Washington! Now how about the other 28% of us?

  6. Daniel, in the average person’s world of, say, 1953 when my own transit life started, the way merchants handled the load problem nationwide was to provide deliveries.

    Mom and I would go downtown on the Chicago ‘El-for-Elevated, which also turned into a subway, and spend a wonderful afternoon in a series of elegant stores selecting our purchase. Which, whatever it weighed, the Store would deliver to our Door, ten miles back up the Howard Street line in Rogers’ Park.

    For, say, a new bowling ball, Jeff Bezos might need a drone the size of a C-130, but pretty sure Elon’s probably somewhere between here and Pluto on his laptop, finalizing details.

    No question work-travel is part of it, same as for school. But what transit’s mainly “for” is fun, freedom, and variety. Especially light-rail for its versatility- my working definition is it can run street track where people want it to, in addition to 70 mph between award-winning offerings of chocolate malted milk at, say, Mercer Island Transit Center.

    Though get Atlantic Base Instruction up to where it should be, and every Route 7 driver should also easily be able to make somebody seven years old believe he’s really riding in a space ship. Where the inevitable occasional War With Space Aliens will just cement the sentiment.

    Mark Dublin

  7. But to switch this metaphorical set of pantographs and poles back to topic, I think that voting, which from some of my own life’s best Fall afternoon as a poll-official, really should be done in person.

    Sad that this election, so few parents could inaugurate their own child to citizenship by obeying his or her own time-honored command to pick them up and “Let ME vote!” That kind of habit sticks.

    Prejudice, maybe, but I think that beautiful old train station that now houses ST’s offices should be forced by the Historic Register to become a polling place forever. It just is one, that’s all. Restored espresso stand and all.

    Mark Dublin

  8. Why? It isn’t like Seattle’s going to go Trump’s way. There’s no reason to believe there will be protests here if he wins nationally. I’m pro-BLM and pro-CHOP and don’t get the reasoning here.

    1. Did you read the comment I was replying to? They said the route 49 they were riding on was a diesel-electric hybrid bus, not a trolley bus. They said that was unusual. I was theorizing why Metro might have swapped-out trolleys for diesels today.

      1. My building in downtown Seattle was closed to businesses today based on concerns of protests and riots. The news showed 38 cities across the U.S. that have basically boarded up anticipating protests or looting (luckily Seattle’s businesses are already boarded up). At lunch at Tamarind Tree today we were told to avoid downtown, and Pho Bac had closed in anticipation of riots. I don’t know why people are protesting, especially when the polls have not closed. I don’t think taking a bus through downtown where protests are anticipated is a good idea, but I guess buses have to run no matter what.

    2. Ok, I won’t speculate as to why, I’ll just state a fact.

      Trolley routes like the 49, 10, and 12, all are using diesels coaches today. Trolley routes like the 3, 4, 2, 36 and 7, didn’t switch-out and are still operating with electric trolley buses.

  9. Alanna, thanks for helping us keep Sam in the loop. It’s kind of our public duty to Transit. But the thing you’re guilty of is that you’re participating in BLM’s crime of refusing to be afraid of people who are themselves suffering from our country’s most dangerous addiction:

    The opioid-surpassing rush of being addicted to being scared. Their lives’ chief principle is that no matter how thoroughly surrounded they are by position, money, and force of arms, anybody they’re scared of, they’ve got God’s own license to kill.

    When the late President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”…..he spoke the truth, but being possessed of both patriotism and common decency, he had no idea that the subjects of his words would ever headquarter out of his own work address on Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Since our Founders doubtless knew Latin, I know they’d counsel you to have your attorneys draw up a writ of “Considerans Fons”. Because our only countermove to what’s being thrown at us now is indeed to simply “Consider the Source”.

    Know you voted, too.

    Mark Dublin

  10. Some good news in local election results: Seattle Prop 1 is winning with over 80% of the vote. I was expecting it to win, but am pleasantly surprised to see a margin that big.

    A resounding show of support that transit is still necessary after COVID (and probably a sign that had the council gone with 0.2%, it would have still easily passed).

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