Monday's Filings for 2009 Races: Bad News for Tacoma School Employees
Monday, June 1 was the first day of filing week to run for public office. The Tacoma School District already has three candidates for Position #2. This is good for democracy, but in our current election system it means that the School District will probably need to lay off another employee. Why?
Within the current top 2 system for electing school board members, having three candidates for one position means the District is required to hold a primary. In 2007, participating in the primary cost the District $85,000 or about one position.
Pierce County will be holding a special election for Auditor this year. However, there will be no primary due to the use of Ranked Choice Voting to elect the Auditor. Thus, the County itself will not be on the hook for any of the expense of the primary.
In King County, the County will be paying probably over $1 million for its participation in the primary process this year. The Port of Seattle is already on the hook to participate in the primary as well since one of the Port Commissioner posts already has three candidates who have filed to run.
It remains to be seen if the Port of Tacoma will have to face the $325,000 bill for the primary. No race has three candidates yet..., but we have only seen the filings from Monday so far. Candidates have until Friday to file to run for office.
King County, as a charter county, has the right to bow out of this craziness of discouraging candidates from running by adopting Ranked Choice Voting. However, entities such as the Ports and the School Districts are prevented by the state legislature from adopting Ranked Choice Voting. Thus, they are stuck with the bill for the primary.