Voter Tools and References
Vote! Talk it up today with your co-workers, friends, and family. The deadline to turn in your ballot in Washington is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 5, at 8PM.
As the ballot counting is done follow the results on your smartphone on the free app, "WA State Election Results" that you can download at your app store. (Also available online in your computer's browser by clicking here.) That app and website offer a useful resource you can use up until the next election.
I like maps. In the References section (scroll down beyond the end of the letter) you'll find links to Congressional, State, Municipal, Fire District, and School District maps. Using them it is possible to orient yourself in your landscape of elected offices.
Since we've been immersed in municipal (and some statewide) issues and elections today I encourage you to visit the interactive Spokane City map at https://my.spokanecity.org/opendata/gis/council-districts/ and check out its features. The map you see at that link offers the council district boundaries, but there is a whole lot more if you click on "View Full Map" in the lower left of the screen. Once that screen opens, click on the small box with three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of the screen. That will show the "Contents" of the interactive map. Click the "Boundaries" menu in the Contents. use the plus and minus buttons to zoom in and out. There is a wealth of information about the whole of Spokane County right there at your fingertips.
A modest example of what one can learn from this map: Parts of what I have always imagined to be the City of Spokane are not part of the City. Adjust the map to focus on the upper South Hill east of Hatch and south of 53rd Avenue. (For easier viewing, click "Basemap" in the upper right and select "Aerial" and try clicking the "Show Labels" box.) This area is part of Spokane County, not part of any municipal government. For the purposes of the current municipal elections, voters in this areas have no say. Explore. There are other insights at your fingertips...
The overlapping boundaries you see on these maps, school districts, fire districts, municipal boundaries, each must have a story. The municipal boundaries relate to development and annexation, the historic details of which escape most of us. Explore. Get to know your governmental landscape.
Keep to the high ground, Jerry