Max Prinsen Wins King Conservation District Election

The results are in and Max Prinsen has won the March 16, 2010 King Conservation District Election.  Here are the unofficial results as reported in an e-mail sent out to the candidates earlier this morning.

Max Prinsen 1772

Mara Heiman 1488

Mary Embleton 519

Kirk Prindle 402

Teri Herrera 51

Total 4232

You can read the candidates statements on the King Conservation District website.

Max Prinsen is a former commissioner and was supported by the Washington Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club. King County Executive Dow Constantine sent out an e-mail endorsing Prinsen yesterday.

Mara Heiman received the support of Reagan Dunn and Kathy Lambert, two Republican members of the King County Council and wrote in her bio about respecting  “property rights.” The right wing Citizens Alliance for Property Rights sent out over 10 different email urging their members to vote for Heiman.
The vote totals are the highest ever but are still ridiculously low considering the election encompasses most of King County.   King County had 1,109,128 registered voters in 2008. So this election was decided by less than 1/2 of 1% of the registered voters in King County.

Having only 7 polling places is ridiculous. The wait in Bellevue at the public library was over 45 minutes at one point. At the polling place in the Seattle Public Library, they ran out of ballots in the late afternoon, which delayed voting there.

The process is very anti-democratic in the lack of polling places and no absentee ballots.  If the election can not be held on either the primary or general election dates in the future, maybe the Commission should be merged under King County Government, allowing commissioners to be appointed.

Holding a special election and limiting polling to only 7 libraries in the whole county ill serves the public and amounts with the lack of public notification to holding a secret election. Regular elections notify the public by mailing them voters pamphlets.

Names of candidates running were first posted on the King Conservation District website only 2 weeks before the election. This makes it difficult for any public evaluation or exposure of candidates and vetting of their positions on issues.

Perhaps its time for the Washington State Legislature to review the whole structure of the Conservation Districts statewide. They originally set up the current system. About 49 conservation districts exist statewide.

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