Westend to vote in special elections


February 1, 2024

Karen Bertroch

Jon Thompson, left, is challenging Judith Johnson for her seat on the Grays River Flood Control Board. Thompson was appointed to her seat 18 months ago. Photos by Karen Bertroch.

Some voters in the Westend are being asked to make a decision about who will represent them on the Grays River Flood Control District and whether or not to pass a Naselle Grays River Valley School District replacement levy.

Ballots have already been mailed for both of these special elections, to people living in the districts affected by these matters.

Ballots are due on Feb. 6 for the Grays River Flood Control District where Director Position 2, currently held by Judith Johnson, is up for re-election. She is being challenged by Jon Thompson, according to Amanda Boehler, the Election Coordinator for the Wahkiakum County Auditor's Office.

Land owners in that district receive an amount of votes based on every 10 acres of land owned, up to 40 votes total, and they must also be a registered Washington State voter, Boehler said.

They do not need to reside on the land.

The second special election is for the 675 voters in three small precincts in Wahkiakum County on the boundary of the Naselle Grays River Valley School District. They are being asked to vote on a replacement levy. Ballots are due on Feb. 13.

Ballots can be turned in by mail or to any ballot drop box in the county.

The results will be posted on the auditor's website, on the state's election website, and will be shared with The Wahkiakum County Eagle, Boehler said.

Next up is the 2024 presidential primary, which is open to all voters. Ballots will be mailed on Feb. 23 and Election Day is March 12.

Karen Bertroch

"The ballots will be sent to every registered voter in Washington State," Boehler said. "There is a lot of confusion surrounding this election as it only happens once every four years. It is the only time that a voter must declare a party, Republican or Democrat, and they must choose a candidate from the party that they declare on their envelope. Their party preference stays on their record for 60 days and then is no longer saved and does not become a part of their voter record."

"Participating in the presidential primary election does not have any affect on whether or not [a voter] will be able to participate in the November general election," she added. "It is specifically an election put on by the parties to elect their presidential candidate for the general election."


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