What’s a Special Election?


What’s so special about a “special election?” Why do we have them? Special elections are important local elections that probably impact you more than you’d think. So let’s get down to the basics.

Special elections are for proposed legislation that voters can approve or reject. The legislation is referred to as a ballot measure or sometimes as a “proposition.” Special elections are for ballot measures or propositions and typically do not have candidate races.

During a special election, voters decide on a local budget issue, such as how to pay for a new school, park or fire station.  In February and April, any of King County’s jurisdictions can choose to hold a special election. Only voters who live in the jurisdiction can participate in a local election.

Special elections have pretty low voter turnout, usually around 30 percent. People who turn out for general or even primary elections tend to sit out special elections. Of course, we want to see all of our voters make their voices heard. If you live in a district holding a special election, be sure to vote so you’re not left out of the important decisions that impact your community.