- Why is your election different than normal county elections? Our Elections processes are dictated by our governing law (RCW Chapter 89.08) and the procedures established by the Washington State Conservation Commission:
“When created in 1939, the Commission was also given the responsibility for establishing District election procedures. “The Commission shall establish procedures for elections, canvass the returns and announce the official results thereof.” RCW Chapter 89.08.190. Because District election authority resides in RCW Chapter 89.08, this sets them apart from other divisions of government whose elections are governed by RCW Chapter 29A. District elections do not fall under the state statute for general elections (Title 29A RCW) unless specifically identified in the Conservation Commission statute. In fact, RCW 29A.04.330(1)(b) specifically exempts conservation districts from general and special elections requirements, relying instead of election procedures established by the Conservation Commission.”
- Can I get my ballot from the Auditor’s Office? No, in past years we have had an agreement with the Thurston County Auditor and their elections schedule in 2020 did not allow for that to be the case. Thurston CD has 2 Auditor trained employees who are handling all ballot requests and will serve as polling officers. No permanent Thurston CD staff will be handling ballots at any point. You can request an absentee ballot to be sent to your mailing address through January 9th at 4:30pm or in person through January 13th at 4:30 pm (360-754-3588 ext. 121, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 2918 Ferguson St. SW Suite A, Tumwater, WA 98512)
- How do I turn in my absentee ballot? You can return it directly to the Thurston CD elections staff in person or by mail (2918 Ferguson St SW Suite A, Tumwater, WA 98512). A secure ballot dropbox is set up in the Thurston CD lobby. All absentee ballots must be postmarked or returned by the day of the election, January 14, 2020 at 8pm. Postage is provided on all ballots.
- This is a different process of voting than in years past. Why? In years past, the Thurston County Auditor’s Office has been available to contract with TCD to administer our Board Elections. Due to the schedule of local, state, and federal elections in 2020, they were not available to contract to the same degree.
As an alternative, TCD has contracted directly with 2 longtime seasonal staff of the Auditor’s Office who are well trained and versed in administering a secure election. These staff will receive absentee requests, fulfill those requests, and process returned ballots. These staff will also serve as polling officers during the poll-site election. No permanent TCD staff will handle or count ballots to ensure security. Members of the public are invited to join us as public observers of the polling process and ballot counting if they so choose.
- There’s only one name on the ballot, should I still vote? We always encourage registered voters within the Thurston Conservation District boundaries to participate in our local elections. A write-in line is provided to express a different opinion, but no write-in candidates filed to become eligible candidates in the 2020 election.
- When will the results of the election be announced? Preliminary election results will be shared on the Thurston CD website by January 20, 2020.
Election results will be certified by the Washington State Conservation Commission at their May meeting and will be finalized then.