As King County Council President Larry Phillips predicted Sunday night on “The David Goldstein Show” (Newsradio 710-KIRO, Sundays 7PM-10PM), the council voted Monday to approve a move to all vote-by-mail elections once certain conditions are met.
I’ve found it difficult to muster up the enthusiasm to write about the council’s vote because it was totally expected, and really should not have been controversial, and as much as I’ll personally miss the civic ritual of going to the polling place, I simply cannot defend maintaining two distinct elections systems when 80 percent of voters (and climbing) routinely choose one over the other. Anybody who closely followed the controversy generated by the near-tie in the 2004 gubernatorial election understands the operational advantages of consolidation, and it is disingenuous of KCRE’s most vocal critics to advocate for reform, and then stand in its way.
It is particularly difficult to square the strenuous objections of Republicans with the party’s general apathy towards towards all vote-by-mail in 34 other, mostly rural (i.e. Republican) counties. Apparently, Republicans can be trusted to conduct vote-by-mail elections, but Democrats cannot… at least that’s the only logic I can come up with.
In the end, vote-by-mail passed along strict party lines. The GOP reaction?
Ordinance passes 5 Democrats, 4 Republicans. Oh well. Nothing partisan here.
A partisan vote? No shit, Sherlock.
But then, that’s what you get when you provoke a partisan battle in a jurisdiction in which your party is in the distinct minority.