Submitted by San Juan County.
On March 17, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman formally asked Gov. Jay Inslee to cancel the April special election. On March 26, Inslee made the decision not to cancel the election.
The only measure on San Juan County’s ballot was the annexation of the Town of Friday Harbor to San Juan County Fire Protection District No. 3. Despite the Governor’s decision, both the Town and the Fire District agree with the Auditor’s concern about the County’s ability to conduct the election safely. Though the voting is by mail, elections staff must be on hand to register new voters and to satisfy last-minute ballot replacement requests. Returned ballots must be signature-verified, opened, inspected, scanned and resolved for any questions about voter intent. Following the election, a Canvassing Board must meet to review questioned ballots and to certify the election.
Elections are an essential activity. Nonetheless, under the present conditions, both the Town of Friday Harbor and San Juan Island Fire & Rescue has requested that the April election be canceled. The measure, while important, is not time-sensitive and can be re-scheduled for a later, safer date.
The Elections Office is closed to the public from now until May 8. For questions about this or other elections matters, please contact the elections office at 360-378-3357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.