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Haven’t voted? Do it today on Election Day!

(Nov. 5, 2019) — We know, we know. There’s a lot going on. You remember getting that ballot a few weeks ago and setting it aside. But you haven’t filled it out, or maybe you can’t find it. The good news is that it’s not too late to vote on critical statewide ballot measures and important local races — including today on Election Day!

The Washington State Legislature has gone to great lengths in recent years to encourage voter participation and make it easier to be counted. Here’s what you need to know:

TURN IT IN — Postage is no longer necessary. You can still mail in your ballot, as long as it’s postmarked today. Dropping it off at your local post office or in a U.S. mailbox before its final pickup as early as possible is the best way to do that. Or better still, deposit it in a ballot drop box near you by 8 p.m. tonight and it’ll be counted. Visit your county auditor’s website for more information about where those drop boxes are

CAN’T FIND YOUR BALLOT? — If you are a registered voter and misplaced your ballot, you can still vote today. Some counties allow you to print a provisional ballot online and mail it in, and it will be counted after they confirmed you are registered and haven’t already voted. But in all counties, you can drop by your county auditor’s office — and in some counties, special voting centers — to fill out a provisional ballot. Go to your county auditor’s website to find out about your options to participate in today’s election.

NOT EVEN REGISTERED TO VOTE? — You say you aren’t even registered to vote yet? You can still vote in today’s election. Although it’s too late to sign up or change your voter registration to a new address online, you can register on Election Day at your county auditor’s office or at any special voting centers they have set up. What do you need to bring?

“Those who want to register will need to know either the number of their Washington driver’s license or State ID card or the last four digits of their SSN, which we will use to verify their identity,” Kendall LeVan Hodson, chief of staff at King County Elections, told The Stranger. “Other than that, you do not need to bring anything to register to vote in person.”

Other counties may have different ID requirements. So once again, check with your county auditor to find out where you need to go and what you need to bring. Then you can register and vote right then. Easy peasy.

CHECK LABOR’S ENDORSEMENTS — And of course, find out which candidates and causes have earned labor’s endorsement as the best choices for working families.

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the state’s regional Central Labor Councils have recommendations for union members’ consideration. The WSLC makes endorsements in races for Congress, statewide offices and judicial races, state legislature, and statewide ballot measures. The 2019 election is mostly for county and city offices, which are the jurisdiction of Central Labor Councils. So see the CLC endorsements listed below.

The WSLC has made the following endorsements:


Sen. Liz Lovelett for State Senate


The WSLC has endorsed Washington State Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes) in her bid to retain the 40th Legislative District seat in this fall’s special election. She was appointed to the Senate in February following the resignation of Sen. Kevin Ranker.

“Senator Lovelett has been a champion for working families from the moment she arrived in Olympia,” said WSLC President Larry Brown. “She has already emerged as a leader on fixing our state’s regressive tax code, supporting public schools and colleges, and this year’s passage of the job-creating 100% clean energy bill. Washington’s labor movement is proud to support Liz Lovelett’s candidacy and we look forward to sharing her strong voting record with our members in Northwest Washington.” Read more.


Initiative 976NO


This Tim Eyman initiative would limit Motor Vehicle Excise Taxes (MVET) to $30. If approved, it will cut funding for transportation infrastructure in every corner of the state, including safety projects, road maintenance, transit service, expansion of light rail, ferry service, and even the Washington State Patrol. It would also cost many cities and towns across the state the local funds they spend to repair and maintain roads and transportation services. VOTE NO on I-976.


Initiative 1000 / Referendum 88 APPROVE


I-1000/Ref. 88 restores fairness and opportunity to our state’s contracting, public employment, and education enrollment policies. Washington is one of only eight states that bans affirmative action outreach and recruitment for qualified women, veterans, persons with disabilities, seniors, and people of color. In the 20 years since those protections were rolled back, state spending on contracts for women and minority owned businesses has dropped from 10% to just 3% — a devastating $3.8 billion loss of revenue since 1998. Under I-1000, quotas and preferential treatment remain prohibited. I-1000 simply allows outreach and recruitment of veterans, women, minorities and others who get left behind. APPROVE I-1000/Ref. 88.


Union members are also encouraged to check out ballot measure flyers with additional information about why the recommendations were made.



AFL-CIO Central Labor Council endorsements


Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Central Labor Council
MLK Labor (King County)
North Central Washington Central Labor Council (Chelan, Douglas)
Northwest Washington Central Labor Council (Whatcom, Skagit)
Pierce County Central Labor Council
Snohomish & Island County Labor Council
Southwest Washington Central Labor Council (Clark)
Spokane Regional Labor Council
Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council

If your CLC isn’t listed here, contact your local Central Labor Council to see if they have any 2019 election recommendations.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!