Midsummer Midterms

What Seattle's Voting On in the 2022 Primary

Now that we're not melting, we can focus on casting our ballots again.

By Benjamin Cassidy August 2, 2022

Most of the local drama leading up to this year's primary has swirled around how, exactly, we should elect our public officials. In November, voters will weigh in on ranked-choice and approval voting methods that could ultimately render our current top-two primary system obsolete.

But that's a debate for later. On this primary ballot, which must be returned by 8pm Tuesday, we're still voting the old-fashioned way, bubbling once for each race and waiting to see which two candidates will advance to midterm showdowns.

The time to mail in ballots has passed, per King County Elections. At this late stage in the game—we were melting, not procrastinating—it's best to slip them into one of these dropboxes. Don't worry about a bogus "surveillance" campaign (but maybe wear something nice just in case, if only to compensate for our lack of "I voted" stickers).

In the first big local vote since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, positions on reproductive freedom animate two Washington races with national implications. Abortion rights champion Patty Murray takes on pro-lifer Tiffany Smiley and many, many others vying for her seat in the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, Rep. Kim Schrier, a Democrat, tries to fend off abortion opponents in a swing district.

Seattleites won't get to sway that Central Washington vote. But our congressional reps, Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith, are back on the ballot, as every House seat is up for grabs this cycle.

Where locals can make the most difference this primary, perhaps, is in Olympia. The verdict on Roe was a reminder that Washington's abortion protections are only as strong as the choices its voters make for the state legislature. A slew of recent progressive departures have left holes to fill in the state senate and House. Also of note: The secretary of state race could produce the first Democratic winner in 60 years.

For those looking to deep-dive, Crosscut has a comprehensive rundown of every candidate running for seats. Any other last-minute questions? Visit King County Elections's site or a vote center. They have air conditioning.

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