As ballots arrive this week, candidates visit Issaquah for education, business forums

Registered voters in Issaquah and Sammamish will begin receiving ballots in the mail this week ahead of the Nov. 2 General Election.

Registered voters in Issaquah and Sammamish will begin receiving ballots in the mail this week ahead of the Nov. 2 General Election.

Also arriving by mail will be two voters’ pamphlets – one from King County Elections, with city and county voting information, and one from the Secretary of State, with federal and state information.

To be considered, ballots must be postmarked Nov. 2 or earlier, or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on that day. Ballots can also be returned to accessible voting centers during their business hours.

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed said this week he was expecting that a number of hotly contested races, heavy television spending, and fired-up grassroots activists would result in a record voter turnout. He said participation should exceed the 64.6 percent of 2006, the most recent midterm election, when turnout is always lower than the main presidential year election. The turnout in 2008 was a record 85 percent.

“We have a very enthused electorate this year, as demonstrated by the good turnout for the primary, the great interest here and nationally in our U.S. Senate race and good contests up and down the ticket, all across the state of Washington,” Reed said in a press release Monday.

Those races include contests in the 5th Legislative District, which covers most of Issaquah and Sammamish. In the 5th, Democratic challengers David Spring and Greg Hoover will look to unseat incumbent Republicans Glenn Anderson and Jay Rodne.

In the 41st State Legislative District, which covers Issaquah west of State Route 900, Republican Steve Litzow goes up against Democrat Randy Gordon, Democrat Marcie Maxwell goes up against Republican Peter Dunbar, and Democrat Judy Clibborn is challenging Republican Stephen Strader.

In the 45th, which covers the northern section of the Sammamish Plateau, Republican Andy Hill and Democrat Eric Oemig, Democrat Roger Goodman and Republican Kevin Haistings, and Democrat Larry Springer and Republican Mark Isaacs are contesting the three seats.

At the federal level, the race between incumbent United States Senator, Democrat Patty Murray, and Republican Challenger Dino Rossi, is expected to attract the interest of many voters, with both candidates mounting expensive campaigns and generating a lot of media coverage over the past few months.

Local voters will also be asked to decide upon a number of citizen sponsored initiatives, including two initiatives seeking to privatize state run liquor sales, and another which would establish a tax on individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year.

For more information on initiatives on the November ballot, visit

If you don’t receive a voters’ pamphlet in the mail, you can access it online at or pick one up at Seattle and King County libraries, or at the Elections office in Tukwila.

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week local voters will have the chance to personally examine 5th District candidates Spring, Anderson, Hoover and Rodne at two forums in Issaquah.

On Tuesday 7-8:30 p.m. Issaquah Valley Elementary PTSA will host a candidate forum focusing on educational issues.

On Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Issaquah, the Issaquah and Sammamish chambers of commerce will listen to the four candidates business and commerce ideas for the district.