February 25, 2002
To vote or not
To validate a special election requires the vote to be at least 40 percent of the total vote in the preceding November general election, and to pass, a measure needs to receive at least 60 percent of that vote.
For example, Lake Washington School District Board of Directors (#414) received 36,386 votes in the last general election. To validate their Feb. 5 levy measures required 14,555 (40 percent of 36,386) or more to vote. Approximately 70 percent (10,377 and 9530) voted "yes" while approximately 34 percent (4702 and 4921) voted to reject the levies. The "no" votes helped validate the election.
If 5 percent fewer had voted "no," the levy would have been resubmitted again at taxpayer expense. The process continues until enough persons vote to pass or reject the levies. Everyone needs to vote the first time around.
Both the "yes" and "no" supporters should make sure public employees or public funds do not influence the results. Those breaking the law must be prosecuted to protect the election process.
L.L. Diener, Kirkland