If you're one of the 250,622 people registered to vote in the Aug. 4 primary, your ballot should arrive no later than in today's mail. Now it's time to do your civic duty by filling it out and returning it by the deadline. (If it hasn't arrived, call 360-397-2345 to request a replacement.)
For an off-year election, this year's ballot provides much intrigue — in large part thanks to the Clark County charter approved last year by voters. In addition to the creation of a county chair position, a councilor will be selected to represent newly carved-out District 2 in northwest Clark County — including Ridgefield and La Center.
The election for Clark County council chair presents a bit of a quandary for voters. As a new position, created by passage of a county charter last year, voters first must determine which qualities they are seeking in the person who will be the designated leader of the county's governing body.
Advisory Vote No. 8, which appears on the statewide ballot this November, points out some flaws in Washington's tax code. The Columbian recommends a vote to "maintain" the tax that was approved by the Legislature. Ditto with Advisory Vote No. 9.
Through two terms in Congress, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, has attempted to walk a precarious tightrope. In a Republican Party divided along philosophical lines, she has invited criticism from the left that she is too conservative and from the right that she is not conservative enough. She has broken ranks on occasion — most notably in criticizing members of her party who forced a shutdown of the federal government — while at the same time remaining unmistakably Republican.
As a general rule, three decades is too long for an elected official to inhabit the same job. Yet the position of county treasurer allows for some caveats to that rule, as sturdy, steadfast, consistent leadership is required when handling the people's money.
There is no denying that a proposed new Clark County charter is on the ballot, in part, because many residents are dissatisfied with the current county commissioners. There also is no denying that the present state of county government should not be the sole factor that determines how citizens vote on the issue.
At some point in Clark County's continuing consternation over bridges, a healthy dose of reality is going to be necessary. Advisory Vote No. 1 — which would support an east county bridge — is an opportunity for voters to deliver that reality.
The state Supreme Court's 2012 decision in McCleary v. Washington has generated as much discussion as any in recent memory. Unfortunately, that discussion has failed to carry over to this year's election, as the four court positions on the November ballot have failed to draw viable challengers.
Washington voters in next month's election will consider competing, incompatible gun-control measures that undoubtedly will lead to confusion. We'll try to keep it simple: Vote "yes" on Initiative 594; vote "no" on I-591.