South County Politics: Ballot drop box will come to MLT, but too late for primary

A ballot drop box is on the way to Mountlake Terrace, but it will come too late for the Aug. 1 primary election and perhaps too late for the Nov. 7 general election.

In the meantime, Mountlake Terrace and Brier voters who want to leave ballots postage-free will need to take them to boxes at the Edmonds Library, the Lynnwood City Hall, the Bothell QFC or any of nine other sites around Snohomish County.

The ballot drop van that accepted ballots for one day at last year’s election will not come to Mountlake Terrace this year.

County officials have ordered a permanent drop box for the Mountlake Terrace Library and hope to have it installed in time for the November election.

Ballots for the August primary will go to voters by first-class mail starting July 13, with voters’ pamphlets sent a day earlier by bulk mail.

Legislators note harm from state government shutdown

Democratic State Reps. Shelley Kloba and Derek Stanford say that their constituents would feel pain from a possible state government shutdown.

Kloba and Stanford represent the 1st Legislative District, including most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, north Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell.

State government would shut down Saturday, July 1, if legislators don’t produce a budget by then. The Democrat-controled House of Representatives and the Republican-controled State Senate have disagreed over how to pay for full state support for Washington’s public schools, as mandated in the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.

The Legislature is now in its third 60-day special session after a 105-day regular session.

The two said Friday that an immediate, noticeable effect would be the closure of all state parks just in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Nearly 11,000 park reservations would be canceled, as well as picnic area reservations at day-use parks like Saint Edward State Park.

Stanford noted that fish hatcheries also would cease operations during a shutdown, meaning the potential loss of millions of fish and setting back state conservation and salmon restoration efforts.

“A shutdown of state parks and fish hatcheries would be a huge blow to our economy, right at the peak of the summer camping and outdoor recreation season,” he said. “It also squanders some of our most cherished public assets. Our campgrounds and recreation areas provide an affordable vacation option for families, and we’re on the verge of shuttering them.”

Kloba and Stanford also said that public safety would be at risk and local jail capacity stretched as state prisons would stop accepting people who are sentenced. They added that community corrections officers would be laid off, leaving 18,000 former inmates unsupervised.

Both families and employers would feel the impact of the loss of state childcare assistance, they said, because about 31,000 working families rely on this assistance and without it, families will be scrambling to find alternative care so they can still go to work.

Kloba said that school districts don’t know the exact impact of a shutdown, but that the lack of a budget deal could hurt teacher retention.

“Schools are facing uncertainty in developing budgets, which really hurts their ability to retain good teachers,” Kloba said. “The unacceptable delay in reaching a budget agreement could mean some teachers seek more stable employment. When good teachers leave, it’s a loss for our kids and our schools.”

–Evan Smith
Evan Smith can be reached at

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