What is this “off-year” you speak of?

Political and media types often refer to the years between high-profile election years as “off-year elections.” The assumption, naturally, is that those elections aren’t as important and don’t deserve the same attention. That’s a great theory… if you’re okay with letting a very small and select group of folks decide elections that are actually vital.

Take for instance our current year, 2009. We don’t have a presidential election, sure, but there are more local issues cropping up on the ballot every day.

According to the Secretary of State’s website (whuddup Sam Reed?), there are already 17 statewide initiatives filed and active. Of those eight are led by Tim Eyman, everyone’s favorite right-wing initiative pusher (if you’re just coming up in the politics game and you’re wondering why it takes so long to catch a bus anywhere in this state, look to Mr. Eyman’s Initiative 695 from 1999 to answer that question).

And of course many city council incumbents and hopefuls around the state will be asking for your vote as well. From Spokane, where three seats are up for re-election to Seattle where 15 candidates are in the running (and that’s not counting mayor, city attorney, etc).

Bottom line, this is no off-year, just a different kind of election. State don’t sleep!


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