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King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer
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Dear Friends:

As we enter the winter months and return to the dry indoors, I am reminded of the surreal spring lockdown and rediscovering Netflix. Ozark...Tiger King...The Crown...all seem years away.

It is important for all of us — young and old — to plan regular exercise programs during the winter months, not only for physical health but our mental health as well. I am working with my colleagues on programs to help open opportunities for recreation and sports for all ages. I hope you enjoy today's update.

Washington Trivia

How did Kirkland get its name?

(Answer is at the bottom).

King County Elections Update

Ballot Returns. As of yesterday morning, King County Elections have over a million ballots in their Renton headquarters, which is about 75 percent of their 90 percent projected turnout and is almost double the number of ballots they had at this point in 2016.

Ballot Drop Box. King County Elections strongly recommends voters to drop their ballots in a drop box. All 73 ballot drop boxes will remain open until 8:00pm today, November 3rd. To report a full box, please call 206-296-VOTE (8683) during business hours or share it on social media anytime.

Registration: Voters who need to register must go in person to a Vote Center and are strongly encouraged to not wait until 7:00 pm.

Ballot Tracking. King County Elections highly encourages voters to track their ballot. With this feature, voters will now see when their ballot is sent, delivered, mailed back, received, signature verified, and ultimately counted.

Vote Centers. VVote Centers at the following six additional locations will be open today from 8:30am – 8:00pm. Anyone in line by 8:00pm at a Vote Center will be able to cast an on-time ballot.

Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center
Accesso ShoWare Center in Kent
Bellevue College
CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle
Dempsey Indoor Center at the University of Washington in Seattle
Kenmore City Hall

NACo explores data on the county role in elections

The National Association of Counties (NACo) explored data on the role of counties in elections. The nation has 3,069 counties, parishes and boroughs that are instrumental in every election, particularly in providing key funding, overseeing polling places, and coordination poll. Read more about it here.

Over 191 million people across the nation are registered to vote in the 2020 General Election. The unprecedented nature of COVID-19 has changed the landscape of the 2020 election cycle, with more voters opting to cast ballots by mail. As ballots are received, elections officials across the country work diligently and tirelessly to execute a fair, secure and accurate election. Election officials assure that delayed results do not indicate a problem or compromise accuracy.

In the past, Election Day in-person voting was the most common voting mode used and accounted for more than half of election participation. However, early voting trends for the 2020 general election have surpassed records. Last week, 66.3 million people have cast their ballots, with 67 percent using mail ballots and 33 percent voting in person before Election Day.

Auburn Teen's Virtual 5K

Inspired by his family’s passion for running and to help his fellow teens who are battling anxiety and depression, Auburn Riverside High School senior Connor MacDougall created the Reach Out and Run Virtual 5K event. Participants can run, walk, etc. wherever and whenever they like between November 8th and 15th. The virtual event aims to raise awareness and funds to help kids and adolescents who are facing struggles with their mental health during the pandemic. Read more about this in the King 5 article here.

King County employees ordered to work from home through July 5, 2021

King County Executive Dow Constantine extended the mandatory work from home order for most county employees through July 5, 2021. The extension comes as King County and the nation see an alarming rise in positive cases and transmission of COVID-19. In-person customer services that are currently suspended will also remain suspended through July 5, 2021, except where there is an operational need to shift to in-person service. Read more about this in the KOMO News article here.

Why Washington still needs to turn the clocks back

Despite Washington legislators’ approval of the permanent daylight savings time last year, residents of Washington still turned their clocks back an hour on Sunday, November 1st. While federal law allows states to permanently adopt standard time, the adoption of permanent daylight savings time needs congressional approval. Hawaii and Arizona are the two states that operate on standard time year-round. Read more about it in this King 5 article here.

Seattle City Council weighs reducing punishments for misdemeanor crimes

During a Seattle City Council budget hearing on Wednesday, October 28th, a change to the city’s criminal code was proposed, particularly on crimes involving people with substance or mental health issues. The legislation, as it reads, could decrease the number of defendants potentially sentenced to jail and consequently, the City's usage of the King County jail. The term of the interlocal agreement governing the City's usage of the jail runs through 2030, but if this legislation can significantly decrease the City's bed use, it could inform long-term renegotiation of the jail contract. Read more about it in this King 5 article here.

King County Case Update

As of yesterday, Seattle – King County Public Health reported 295 new cases, bringing the total in King County to 28,262. In addition, Public Health reported 2 new deaths, bringing the total in the county to 806.

Stay In. Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember

Washington trivia answer:

Prior to the arrival of the first European settlers in 1860s, the land around Lake Washington was first settled by Native Americans. According to HistoryLink, several families built homesteads along the lake and created the Houghton and Juanita neighborhoods, which remained undeveloped until the arrival of Peter Kirk in 1880s.

Kirk was a steel mill owner in Workington, England who came to the Pacific Northwest to find a more suitable environment for his steel production. He had several plans for the area and later built the Moss Bay Iron and Steel Works with prominent Seattle businessmen. The city was then named after Kirk and was envisioned as the “Pittsburgh of the West.” The city was incorporated in 1905 but the mill closed without producing steel due to financial issues and the refusal to bring a rail line to the area. Kirk modified his plans and stayed in his namesake town for a while until he moved to the San Juan Islands.

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Contact me: pete.vonreichbauer@kingcounty.gov
206-477-1007, 800-325-6165, TTY/TDD 206-296-1024
Website: www.kingcounty.gov/vonReichbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pete.vonreichbauer

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