Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Voters Choose New Director of Elections

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 5, 2009

After the election debacles of 2004 and 2006, more than enough people signed Initiative 25 to put the question of electing the King County Director of Elections on the ballot. We were told that would be a major step toward insuring well-run, fair and honest elections. We wanted “Change.” So on November 4, 2000 seventy-two percent of registered voters cast fifty-six percent of the vote for King County Charter Amendment 1 – Elected Elections Director.

And what happened? This last Tuesday barely nineteen percent of registered voters selected our first elected Director of Elections from among six candidates. The winner garnered about forty-five percent of the vote, less than a majority but still more than the next three candidates combined.

Who won? Why the very same current Director of Elections appointed in 2007 by King County Executive Ron “Find me some more votes” Sims. Barring a major felony conviction or being recalled for “finding” enough missing ballots to elect a Republican, she will be with us for at least the next three plus years.

The results of this non-partisan, all by mail election were disappointing to say the least. The two candidates with Republican credentials were together ten points behind the winner Sherril Huff. She was the only candidate to mention partisan support in the Voters’ Pamphlet – “35 County Auditors, both Republican and Democrat; Executive Ron Sims; County Democrats Chair Susie Sheary …” – but she also had the strongest statement in the pamphlet. Voters who don’t follow Sound Politics Huff posts but rely on the Voters’ Pamphlet and the Times and P.I. endorsements could understandably be convinced to vote for her. Nevertheless, she does not represent “change” and Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief.

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