An election? In March? Absolutely! Last year’s King Conservation District Board Supervisor election was historically significant because it is the first US election to allow voting via smartphone.

After increasing voter turnout by 93.77%, the electronic option remains, in addition to mail and drop-off balloting.

What are we voting for?

King Conservation District (KCD) board supervisors are group of five volunteers. According to the KCD election website, “three of the members are elected while the other two are appointed by the Washington State Conservation Commission, an agency created to assist and guide conservation district activities in Washington State.” KCD holds an election each year to replace one of the three elected board members.

These board members represent your voice in setting conservation policy. According to the KCD election page: “Board members contribute local perspectives on important natural resource management and conservation issues, seek feedback about conservation programs from District residents, set KCD policy, and direct KCD’s work plan and budget.”

According to NPR, less than 1% of eligible King County citizens voted in KCD board supervisor elections prior to online voting. Voter turnout increased 93.77% last year with the electronic voting option. Of the 6,280 ballots in last year’s election, 5,921 were returned electronically.

Click here to see an audit of last years KCD election and electronic voting system by the National Cybersecurity Center.

Interested in what the King Conservation District has to offer? Learn more about its annual native plant sale.

Board Supervisor candidates

This year, there are eight candidates running for the open seat. Click on their names to see information for each candidate.

*Emeraldology is not endorsing any of the candidates. We recommend you take the time to get to know each one!

How and when to vote

When: Voting runs from March 1, 2021 to March 23, 2021.

How: There are three ways to vote in this election: online, mail, or drop box.

Online

Use your computer or smartphone to visit the online voting portal. First, you will be asked to verify your name and birthday. Then, select a candidate, confirm your selection, and then use your touch screen our mouse to electronically sign your ballot.

This part is important in verifying your identity by matching the signature used to register to vote.

If you aren’t satisfied with your signature, click “reset” or “change signature” to give it another try. Next, submit your contact information so you can be contacted regarding questions about your ballot. Finally, click “View Package” to review your information, “View Ballot” to verify your vote and then “Submit.”

On paper, it seems like a lot of steps, but the portal is very user-friendly. Online voters have until 5 pm on March 23, 2021 to submit their ballots.

By Mail

Many King County voters have experience voting by mail, but this election is a little different. Don’t wait for your ballot to arrive in the mail! For this election, use the online portal to verify yourself and select your candidate. Once you get to the signature page, there is an option to print your ballot for mail-in or drop-off voting. To vote by mail, place your completed and signed ballot into an envelope and address it using the “Envelope Cut-out Sheet” provided.

Ballots must be postmarked by March 23, 2021 to be eligible.

Drop Box

Use the instructions above to print and fill out your ballot. Instead of mailing it, drop it in one of the 70 King County ballot drop boxes before 5 pm on March 23, 2021.

*Emeraldology is not endorsing one voting method over another. Do what feel is safest and easiest for you. The important part is that you cast a ballot!*

Why vote for Board Supervisor?

Voting is one of the most powerful tools individuals have to effect change, especially at the local level where turnout is historically low. Every vote matters in these elections!

The vote is not only your voice, it’s your stake in local issues and a stepping stone to taking further action. Once you’ve backed a candidate with your vote, are you not more likely to hold them accountable for their actions? Consider this: if (more like when) you find out an elected official – say a board supervisor – is acting in self-interest, how will you respond? If you don’t vote, it’ll be easy to stick with the old “all politicians are corrupt, there’s nothing I can do.” But if you do vote, especially for that particular board supervisor, won’t you be more likely to call and say, “Listen here buddy, this is not what your constituents put you here; get your act together or get out.”

By increasing voter turnout (hopefully well above 1%) we can show elected officials that they are accountable to the people. More voters means more watchful eyeballs and more accountability. And if recent national political events tell us anything, it’s that accountability has never been more important.

Feature photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash.