Journal of the San Juan Islands


What’s Wrong With My Ballot? Election explained

February 1, 2013 · 8:16 PM

Auditor Milene Henley / Journal file photo

Information below submitted by Auditor Milene Henley, Elections manager

The San Juan County Elections Office has been fielding a lot of questions from voters about the February ballot, most of which have to do with Charter-initiated changes to the composition of the County Council.

Charter amendments approved in November changed the number of council members from six to three. As provided by the charter amendments, all voters get to vote on the candidates for all three of the new council seats.

The candidates themselves must live in the “residency” district for which they filed.  Those districts are similar to the old county commissioner districts: No. 1 San Juan Island, No. 2 Orcas Island, and No. 3 Lopez and Shaw Islands.

This being a “primary” election for the new county council, as defined by the charter amendments adopted in November, the February ballot includes only the two races in which more than two candidates filed. Those races are the ones for the San Juan Residency District (District 1), and for the Orcas Residency District (District 2).

Each voter gets to vote in both races, but for only one candidate in each race.

Because only two candidates filed from Lopez, that race is not on the February ballot.

In the April “general” election, the two candidates from Lopez/Shaw, as well as the top two primary election finishers from San Juan and Orcas, will appear on every voter’s ballot.  The top vote-getter in each race will go on to serve on the new 3-person county council.

For more information about the election, contact the Elections Office, (360) 378-3357.


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