A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Election ballots due today

November 5th, 2013 by Doree

Today is election day, meaning all ballots must be received by King County Elections today. Ballots may be mailed (with a first-class stamp and postmarked today), or dropped off at a ballot drop box. The nearest drop box to Phinney Ridge and Greenwood is at the Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave NW. The drop box closes at 8 p.m.

Click here for a list of all ballot drop boxes in King County.

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Ballot drop box at Ballard Library open until 8 p.m. tonight

November 6th, 2012 by Doree

From our sister site, MyBallard:

If you’re a last-minute voter, you still have time to get your ballot in. There’s a ballot drop box at the Ballard Library, and it will be open until 8 p.m. tonight.

To view other drop box locations, click here.

You can also mail your ballot, but make sure you get it to the post office before closing time.

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Crowd-sourced Voters Guide gets librarian fact-checkers

October 31st, 2012 by Doree

By Sarah Elson, UW News Lab

Most voters’ guides simply aim to inform. But the Living Voters Guide, which was created in 2010 by the University of Washington’s Engage Project and the Seattle civic nonprofit CityClub, strives to start discussions between voters to help them make sense of the major initiatives on the ballot. This year they’ve added librarian fact-checkers to make the crowd-sourced voters guide more trustworthy.

“The guide is kind of what people thought about these ballot measures,” explained Travis Kriplean, the developer of the Living Voters Guide. “The ballot measures are often controversial and also a bit hard to understand, so it seemed like a good way to get people to talk about them, because there are surprisingly few places for that to happen.”

The website summarizes each of the eight statewide initiatives and lists pros and cons from other users on either side, so voters can create their own list in the middle compiled of the factors that are most important to them.

Anyone can post on the guide as long as they have an account on the site. Kriplean estimated that about one out of every three people who visit the site actually contribute to it.

Kriplean said the guide’s strength is in showing what people are thinking about across the political spectrum. However, it doesn’t have a strong informational base, so it’s hard for users to discern which points are true.

To make the guide more trustworthy, he’s enlisted the help of Seattle Public Library librarians to fact-check claims that other users want verified. The librarians spend a maximum of two hours researching the claim and then write a report about whether the claim appears to be accurate. The report is posted within 48 hours.

“Our approach is not to say, ‘This person is right or wrong,’ or ‘This is true or false,’ but to say if it’s an accurate statement,” said Chance Hunt, Seattle library partnerships and government relations director. “We then provide citations and additional information for people (who) want to do their own level of comparison with the information that’s available.”

So far the librarians have responded to 27 fact-checking requests and are currently working on five more.
Hunt said they have been asked about a variety of different claims. One of the first requests they received was to check a claim about same-sex marriage.

“We had a comment about whether same-sex couples see better results in their children,” Hunt said. “Are their children more successful, happier, healthier, that kind of thing. And we were asked to double-check it, so our library staff did the research and then presented a response to that question.”

One of the most recent requests they received was to check a claim that “37 percent of students attending charter schools receive a worse educational outcome.”

“We were asked to check where the 37 percent came from,” Hunt said. “So we did some research and were able to find a study that found (the claim) to be accurate. But that was only one study, so we provided access to other studies showing contradictory or different results from a similar kind of study.”

Librarian Bo Kinney said there are some claims they aren’t able to check. The librarians aren’t qualified to conduct legal research and they can’t evaluate opinion-based or hypothetical claims.

“We’re not the final word on what is the truth,” Kinney said. “We expect that users might add additional information beyond what we were able to find. But we think that our efforts will help support informed discussion of political issues.”

(Sarah Elson is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.)

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Remember to vote, mail your ballot

August 14th, 2011 by Dale

The Aug. 16 primary and special election is quickly approaching. Remember to have your ballots stamped and postmarked, or dropped in a ballot drop box on or before Tuesday, Aug. 16.

The closest local ballot drop box location is the Ballard Branch Library at 57th Street and 22nd Avenue NW. Ballots taken to drop boxes must be deposited by 8 p.m. on Aug. 16. If that’s not convenient for you, see this map for a complete list of King County drop box locations.

For candidate statements, see the King County Elections Local Voters’ Pamphlet. And if you can’t make your mind up from reading those, let someone else help. Here are some sources for candidate ratings and endorsements:

Know of any other endorsement sources published online? Please share them in comments, or send us a link at tips@phinneywood.com.

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King Conservation District online voting continues through March 15

March 2nd, 2011 by Doree

It’s been in the news a fair amount lately, but plenty of people still don’t know anything about the King Conservation District, and its current online election.

The King CD provides information and technical assistance programs that are available to all landowners within the district’s boundaries on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis. King CD programs are hands-on, site specific, action and results oriented; and it initiates community outreach activities that include workshops, education programs, site visits, farm plans, and consultation on land, water, and wildlife management.

One of 46 conservation districts in the state, the KCD covers most cities in the county (except for Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish) and all unincorporated areas of the county.

It is now conducting one of the nation’s first Internet-based elections, for a position of its board of supervisors. Online voting started on Feb. 15 and continues through March 15. Individuals registered to vote in King County (except for the five cities not part of the district) are eligible to vote.

Candidates for position #2 include Douglas “Bruce” Elliott, from Kent; Teri Herrera, of Redmond; Eric K. Nelson, from Duvall; and Preston Prudente of Sammamish.

The milestone election’s secure, two-step voting process includes confirmation of voter eligibility followed by voting…The district will also provide a one-day, “in-person” voting option at its Renton office on March 15 between 9 am to 9 pm. The King CD is located at 1107 SW Grady Way, Suite 130.

The all-volunteer, five-member board includes three elected members and two who are appointed by the Washington State Conservation Commission. All supervisors serve three-year terms. As public officials, their responsibility is to ensure that the King CD meets its legal and public trust obligations.

The board of supervisors conducts regular public meetings to oversee the district’s budget and provide policy guidance and oversight to district staff.

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No more ballot drop box in Ballard

January 26th, 2010 by Geeky Swedes

Next Tuesday, Feb. 9, when ballots are due for the special election, don’t head down to the Ballard Neighborhood Service Center (5604 22nd Ave NW) to drop off your ballot like in the past (shown below). There will be no drop box.

Because of the tight budget, drop boxes in all but two locations have been eliminated. “King County had to make some hard choices to balance the 2010 operating budget,” King County Elections Director Sherril Huff said. “This included cuts to all departments in services that citizens want and depend on. As a cost savings measure, Elections was asked to reduce the number of ballot drop boxes as well as the operational hours of accessible voting centers.”

If you want to drop your ballot off in person, you’ll need to go to the King County Administration Office at 500 4th Ave (shown above) or the King County Elections headquarters at 9010 East Marginal Way S, Tukwila. King County also has three accessible voting locations, one at Union Station (401 S. Jackson St) which will be open Monday, Feb. 8: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 9: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

A first class stamp will allow you to mail your ballot in, but don’t forget to have it postmarked by Feb. 9 to count. (Here’s the voters’ guide in case you’ve misplaced yours .pdf)

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Chamber-sponsored candidates forum

October 1st, 2009 by Doree

The Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce and Greenwood Community Council are joining with the chambers and community councils of Fremont, Wallingford, Green Lake, Aurora and the University District for a Candidates Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 13. The forum for mayor, city council and city attorney is from 6-9 p.m. at Lincoln High School, 4400 Interlake Ave. N. (currently occupied by Hamilton Middle School).

The focus of the forum will be on the unique role of neighborhoods in shaping the character and future of Seattle. Each candidate will be given equal time to answer and debate a set of questions about the issues.

Doors open at 6 p.m. City attorney candidates will take the stage from 6:30-7 p.m.; mayoral candidates from 7-8 p.m., and city council from 8-9 p.m.

Please email questions in advance, or call the Wallingford Neighborhood Office at 206-632-3165.

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Tomorrow is deadline to register for August primary

July 17th, 2009 by Doree

Saturday is the deadline for mail-in and online voter registrations for August’s primary. New Washington voters have until August 10 to register to vote in person at the Elections office.

Registering to vote is easy– visit www.kingcounty.gov/elections and register online or print and complete a registration form and mail it to King County Elections, postmarked by Saturday, July 18. Mail-in voter registrations are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Cambodian, Korean, Laotian, Russian, and Vietnamese.

You can even check key points on your ballot’s journey at the Elections Department’s website. Just click on “mail ballot tracking.”

Important dates:

  • July 29 – Voters’ pamphlets mailed
  • July 30 – Ballots mailed to all voters in King County
  • Aug. 10 – Deadline for new Washington residents to register to vote in-person.
  • Aug. 18 – Election Day! Ballots must be returned at a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day or be postmarked on or before August 18.

For more information, call the King County voter hotline at 206-296-VOTE (8683).

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