Election day brought news on Nov. 5, 2013 of John Rosentangle winning the King County Commissioner seat and John Erak in the lead for a seat in the Aberdeen city council, according to the Associated Press. These incumbents would be legitimate candidates on the ballot if they were not deceased.
This year, voters in Wash. have elected two deceased candidates into public office. The names of both deceased members were still on the ballots since they died after they signed up for the election. It makes sense that the general public might vote for the candidate they voted for last time not knowing they were deceased.
According to the Office of the Secretary of State’s election results, the voter turnout this year was 44 percent. There are 3.9 million registered voters in Washington State and 1.7 million voted. According to the Office of the Secretary of State, a 45 percent voter turnout is good news.
Olympia resident and former SPSCC student Krosbie Carter said voting for dead people is a great example of misinformation among voters. She said, “Many voters vote for what is visible. A lot of information is available for those who look for it, but others just rely on what one side tells them.”
“Being an informed voter means more than just reading the pros and cons of the sponsoring person’s website or party affiliation. In Washington state, many of us seem to be reactionary voters, and reactionary isn’t necessarily informed,” said Carter. She believes that this is a big problem for voting everywhere, not only in Wash.
“Washingtonians claim to be a progressive state in general, but we have the number one most regressive tax system in the country,” said Carter. She said that Wash. voters generally vote on short-term benefits with long-term breakdowns.
The council members in Aberdeen will vote on a council member to take the seat of the deceased member and the King County board will appoint a commissioner they deem fit in lieu of the late incumbent commissioner.