BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON – Following the release of the initial election results in the 2022 midterm elections, the Yes on King County Charter Amendment 1 campaign offered its profound thanks to the people of King County for embracing the coalition’s proposal to move elections for twelve key county positions from odd years to even years, when turnout is higher and more diverse.
While many ballots remain to be counted, the first returns are incredibly strong for the Yes side, with 69%+ voting yes so far.
These results indicate that King County Charter Amendment 1 will pass, which means that beginning in 2026, King County voters will see elections for Council, Assessor, and Elections Director on an even-year ballot. In 2028, the first even-year election for Executive and five additional Council positions will be held. Data indicates that turnout for these important positions could as much as double as a result of making the switch.
Sponsored by King County Chair Claudia Balducci, Charter Amendment 1 was submitted to the voters of King County this past summer on a 7-2 vote.
No organized opposition formed against the measure, which was endorsed by The Seattle Times, The Stranger, and The Urbanist in addition to the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, the Northwest Progressive Institute, More Equitable Democracy, Washington Community Alliance, Win/Win Network, the Washington Bus, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Sightline Institute, Transit Riders Union, Seattle Pride, Washington For Equitable Representation, OneAmerica Votes, and the King County Democrats.
“Thanks to the voters, in the future more people will vote for their King County representatives and our electorate will better reflect all the people of our County,” said King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci. “I’m proud that King County continues to show how you create strong and resilient elections.”
“This is a huge win for King County!” said King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay.
“With one relatively small change to when we vote, we have strengthened our democracy multiple times over and given thousands more people a voice in our region’s local politics.”
“Our campaign is incredibly grateful to see so much support from voters for this effort to simplify our elections and strengthen our democracy,” said Northwest Progressive Institute founder Andrew Villeneuve, co-chair of the Yes on King County Charter Amendment 1 committee.
“Studies have repeatedly shown that aligning the timing of local elections with state and federal elections does more for raising and diversifying turnout than any other electoral reform we can adopt. It’s the norm in Washington for counties to hold their elections in even-numbered years. With the success of King County Charter Amendment 1, we’ll soon be joining thirty-six other counties in electing our county’s executive and legislative positions at times when most voters consistently turn out, which will raise the visibility of county government and ensure far more voters are participating in the selection of their elected representatives.”