It might be an odd election year, but we’ve still got you covered

As primary ballots land across Washington, the Crosscut politics desk is reporting on local races in Seattle, Yakima, Bellingham, Spokane and Tacoma.

A ballot being filled out

Yakima resident Jordan Chavez fills out his ballot in his kitchen on Thursday July 28, 2022. (Amanda Snyder/Crosscut)

If you’ve opened your ballot for the Aug. 1 primary, you might be confused by the short list of votes you need to take. Where is the governor’s race? What about that interesting Washington attorney general contest? And hasn’t the presidential campaign begun?

I’ve had to remind myself a few times that we are voting only in local and county elections this fall. Those elections for governor and president and Washington attorney general are all happening in 2024, folks. 

Tighten your seatbelt; it’s going to be a rocky year and a half. The 2024 campaign has already begun, and I expect we will be hearing about those races all through 2023 and consistently through next November. I might throw away my red, white and blue dress on Nov. 6, 2024, and find a new job that focuses on food or fashion news.

In the meantime, we need to pay attention to the local races being decided in the next few months. Local decisions can have powerful influence on our daily lives, from how parks are maintained to how high our garbage and tax bills climb. 

Crosscut is here to help you stay on track with our voter guide, which focuses on this year’s elections, in Seattle and across Washington. In previous odd-year elections, we mostly focused on Seattle City Council, which represents many but far from all our readers. After last fall’s success at covering congressional races across Washington, we’re taking the next step toward covering statewide elections this year. 

This year, in addition to Seattle, we will visit Bellingham, Tacoma, Spokane and Yakima to see what’s on those ballots. What we know so far – thanks to the guide – is that voters have a lot of choices in those elections. If you live in those cities, you might need some help sorting through your ballot, since most media coverage (yes, at Crosscut too) is already focused on 2024. That’s one reason we decided to expand our odd-year election guide beyond the west shore of Lake Washington. The other is that we need to build our muscles for thoroughly covering elections statewide next year: from the Legislature to the governor’s office and in every congressional district.  

The statewide voter guide is just the first step. We’ll also be writing stories about local elections outside of Seattle. If you are reading Crosscut from one of those cities, we might even send a crew to visit. Subscribe to our elections newsletter for more about that. If you know of an exciting or consequential local election that we should keep an eye on, please email me and we’ll look into it. And if you need me to send you a weekly calendar reminder that it’s 2023, not 2024, let me know. 

Get the latest in election news

In the weeks leading up to each election (and occasionally during the legislative session), Crosscut's Election newsletter will provide you with everything you need to know about races, candidates and policy in WA state.

By subscribing, you agree to receive occasional membership emails from Crosscut/Cascade Public Media.

Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors