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Overseas Voting


This is part of the email I received from the King County Board of Elections after voting in the upcoming primary.

Here's what was on the ballot:

  • King County Proposition No. 1: Regular Property Tax Levy for Children, Youth, Families and Communities
  • King County Executive
  • Seattle Mayor
  • Seattle City Attorney
  • City Council Position No. 8
  • City Council Position No. 9
  • Seattle School District No. 1 Director District No. 5
As an overseas resident with a legal address in Seattle, I'm entitled to vote in all elections. I certainly want to be able to vote in national elections. The president is my president (as much as I tried to disassociate myself with the previous guy), and members of Congress represent me as much as anyone else.

But I have to wonder if it makes sense to vote in this election. And I kind of feel guilty for casting a ballot, but I don't want to risk being removed from the voter roles by not participating. I don't know at what point voters are removed from the roles after not voting, but I don't want to take a chance.

I don't know a thing about the various candidates. And honestly, it doesn't matter to me at all who becomes Seattle's next mayor. I couldn't care less who is on the Seattle City Council, or if the current King County Executive wins a fourth term, or who is the District No. 5 Director of the Seattle School District No. 1. And while I'm certainly in favor of providing funding for children, youth, families, and communities, whether this proposition passes or not doesn't affect me at all.

I actually listen to Morning Edition on KUOW (Seattle's NPR station) every day, mostly for national and international news. They do report on some local issues, so I'm not entirely uninformed. But there's not enough coverage of local politics to make a reasoned choice about candidates and issues when I vote in local elections. So I made my voting selections by reading the endorsements on The Stranger website. (To be honest, even when I lived in Seattle, I typically did the same.) The Stranger's editorial board is about as progressive as can be, so even when I don't agree with everything they stand for, their endorsements represent an important counterweight to more conservative viewpoints.

I take the right to vote very seriously. Since I turned 18, I don't believe I have missed a single opportunity to vote.

But am I right to continue to vote in local Seattle elections? I'd love to hear your thoughts about this. Please add your comments.


  1. Yes, you are right to vote in all elections. Inform yourself as best as possible, as you are, and make the choices that most reflect your values.


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