What is King County Charter Amendment 1?
King County Charter Amendment 1 is a proposed change to the plan of government for Washington State’s largest local jurisdiction, Martin Luther King Jr. County. It would move elections for twelve key positions — Executive, Assessor, Elections Director, and nine County Council seats — from odd to even years. The amendment was submitted to the voters for their consideration by the Metropolitan King County Council on June 28th, 2022.
A “yes” vote by Tuesday, November 8th at 8 PM is a vote to ratify the proposed change and implement the amendment. If adopted, the next elections for these twelve positions, in 2023 and 2025, would be for three-year terms. Thereafter, terms would revert to lengths of four years, which would mean that 2026 would be the first even year in which we’d elect our Assessor, Elections Director, and four county council seats. Then, in 2028, we’d elect our Executive and five more county council seats for the first time in an even year.
Why vote yes: Statement in favor of King County Charter Amendment 1 (Pro) in the 2022 King County voter’s pamphlet
Vote yes to increase turnout: By shifting to even-year elections for Executive, Assessor, Elections Director, and County Council with King County Charter Amendment 1, we’ll elect these important county officials in years when most voters consistently turn out, which will result in a much larger number of voters (up to twice as many!) participating in the selection of our future leaders.
Vote yes to diversify turnout: Data shows that odd-year electorates are significantly less diverse than even-year electorates. If we adopt this amendment, future elections for county offices will include more young voters, working class voters, voters of color, and renters.
Vote yes to amplify public discourse about King County’s issues and future: The media’s political coverage and community civic awareness are much stronger in even years. This amendment will empower future county candidates to run at times when more people are paying attention, which will be good for their campaigns and good for democracy.
Vote yes to align our county elections: We already regularly elect our Prosecuting Attorney in midterm years and our Superior Court judges in presidential years. With Charter Amendment 1, we’ll be electing all county officials at the same time and on the same ballots, just like 36 out of 39 counties in Washington State already do.
This amendment will simplify our elections and advance voting justice, deepening the connection between we the people of King County and our government.
Please join the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, More Equitable Democracy, Sightline, Washington Community Alliance, Urban League, Washington Bus, ACRS, the Northwest Progressive Institute, and other trusted advocates for ballot access in voting yes this autumn.