County elections initiative going to ballot?
June 21, 2007
King County, WA - Voters in King County apparently will decide in November if the director of elections should be chosen by popular vote, with backers of a ballot initiative saying Monday they've gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on the issue.
King County is the only county in the state that does not choose an elections director at the polls. In King County, the county executive appoints the director, subject to confirmation by the County Council.
If the proposal to elect the director is approved, the election for the non-partisan office could take place in February of either 2008 or 2009, depending on what the County Council decides. In either case, the first term of the elected director would end in 2011, with an election that year and every four years afterward to fill the seat.
Supporters of Initiative 25, which calls for amending the county charter to elect the director, have gathered more than 74,000 signatures, far more than the 54,732 needed to qualify the measure for the ballot, campaign spokesman Toby Nixon said Monday. County officials will need to verify that the petition has enough valid signatures for it to go on the ballot.
"I'm very excited by the amount of support that the initiative has received," Nixon said.
Nixon hopes the County Council will react to the successful signature drive by placing the proposed charter amendment on the ballot in November; if the amendment is approved, the election would take place in February.
If the council does nothing, passage of I-25 in November would bring the charter amendment before voters in November 2008, with any election held in February 2009.
P-I reporter Gregory Roberts can be reached at 206-448-8022 or email@example.com.
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