"Nine school districts in King and Snohomish counties are competing with a high-profile presidential primary Feb. 19. While it promises to attract a record number of voters, it has also angered some independents who don't want to choose a party preference or have that party choice made public.
School leaders say they're worried some voters will toss their ballots rather than declare a party, and not realize they can vote for local and school measures without identifying themselves as either Republican or Democrat.
"Washington voters are generally independent and vote on the candidate, not the party," said Lakewood Superintendent Larry François. "We want to make sure people understand that they can choose not to vote in the presidential primary, but can still vote in their local school elections and have their vote counted."
In King County, the Federal Way and Tukwila school districts have levy renewals on the ballot."Plus, some of these districts have their measures printed on the back of the ballot.
It's amazing how many issues - declaring for a party or not, voting whether it means something or not (for the Dems), where your issue gets printed - can hurt schools.
And, of course, in the case in the Denny/Sealth issue, our district making a deliberate choice to print one thing in the voter's guide and another thing in a smaller mailing about the capital bond measure. I asked Director Maier if, as head of Schools First which sent the smaller mailing, if he had written the copy on it and/or helped write what appeared in the voter's guide. I'm still waiting to hear from him.
The district also has the problem of trying to explain (although they have been mum on this subject, I'll say it out loud) the issue of destroying or altering projects already done for Sealth under BEX II and the BTA. (They would be destroying tennis courts and a softball field and it is unknown where and when they would be rebuilt. There is no money in the project to replace them at least as far you can glean from the drawings and presentations. They would alter Sealth's library under this plan when it has already gone through a renovation.) How do you justify flushing that money away (around $1M)?
You can't try to fool voters; it makes them wary and mistrustful of anything you say in the future. As the old saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I don't think voters will be fooled again.