For the first time since I learned about the King County Conservation District elections a few years back, the King County Conservation Voters endorsed candidate has finally won one of these bizarre, nearly secret elections. So congratulations to Max Prinsen, who topped runner-up Mara Heiman, 1,772 to 1,488.
So now that we’ve proven that pro-conservation forces can win an election that in recent years had proven the only race that KC Republicans could reliably count on, I’d like to take the opportunity to publicly suggest that we scrap this election entirely.
4,232 conscientious citizens cast ballots in yesterday’s election, better than 50% more than the 2,757 ballots cast in 2009… which in itself was a huge increase over previous years, when a mere few hundred votes was sometimes all that was needed to assure victory. But that’s still a tiny fraction of the roughly one million registered voters in King County.
So if we really can’t afford to piggyback the KCCD election onto a primary or general election ballot — when, you know, people actually vote — why even bother holding it? Two of the board’s five seats are already appointed by the three elected members, so why not just appoint them all? Maybe distribute the appointments geographically amongst the nine County Council members, so as to assure that rural voters receive adequate representation?
I know, I know… nobody votes for less democracy, but a countywide election with less than 1% turnout is a farce. It’s past time we admitted it, and eliminated the KCCD election all together.