Kent School District leads voter registration drive

Registration forms provided to high school students; sent home with elementary children for parents

  • Thursday, January 16, 2020 12:53pm
  • News
Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

The Kent School District led a districtwide voter registration drive over the last few months to encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up to vote.

“By registering to vote and then exercising that right, we are able to choose the leaders of tomorrow,” said Superintendent Calvin Watts in a district news release Thursday. “We are investing in our community by supporting the election process, which is one of our nation’s most important foundations of democracy.”

Beginning last July, new legislation allows teens who are 16 and 17 years old to sign up as future voters and be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18.

To encourage people to sign up to vote, district high schools provided registration information to student groups, student civic clubs and in civics and government classes. Elementary schools distributed more than 10,000 voter registration forms to families through backpack mail.

The district also partnered with individual school PTA/PTSA groups to provide registration materials at their member meetings, open houses or curriculum nights.

King County Elections provides paper voter registration forms in the district’s three most used languages—English, Spanish and Vietnamese, which were distributed to district families. Digital voter registration forms can be accessed online in 21 languages.

The district has a two-year renewal Educational Program & Operations Levy on the Feb. 11 Special Election ballot that will replace the current levy voters approved in 2018 and have supported for more than three decades, according to the district website.

The proposed renewal levy rate is $2.15 per $1,000 in assessed home valuation for two years. The maximum amount that can be collected in 2021 is $69 million. The maximum amount that can be collected in 2022 is $76.2 million.

Taxpayers will pay a combined approximate tax rate of $3.83 for all district measures (for 2016 bond debt service and the 2018 Technology and Capital Levy) in 2021 and 2022 if the proposed renewal levy is approved. The owner of a home valued at $600,000 would pay $1,290 per year in 2021 and 2022, according to the district.

King County Elections will mail ballots Jan. 22 for the Feb. 11 election. The last day to register online is Feb. 3 and in person on Feb. 11.

For more information, go to the King County elections website.

Frequently Asked Questions

• How do I qualify to vote?

Can register when at least 16 years old, can vote at age 18

Must be a U.S. citizen

Must be a Washington resident

• How do I sign up to vote?

Online at using your driver’s license or state ID. The last day to register online for the next special election is Feb. 3

Mail in a paper form

In person at your county elections office or when you get your enhanced driver’s license or ID at the Washington State Department of Licensing. The last day to register in person and vote in the next special election is Feb. 11 before 8 p.m.

• What if I don’t have a driver’s license?

Use the last four (4) digits of your social security number to sign up using a paper form.

• When can I vote or sign a petition?

As soon as you register to vote, you may vote in the next election. If you’re a Future Voter, you’re automatically registered to vote when you turn 18, so you’ll be able to vote in the election and sign petitions after your 18th birthday.

• What if I turn 18 right before an election?

If your address has not changed, you can expect to receive a mailed ballot approximately two weeks before an election day.

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