Make a plan to vote!
2023 General Election Timeline:
October 18 – 20 : Ballots are mailed to all eligible voters
November 7 : Ballots must be postmarked on or before this date or dropped off at a Ballot Drop Box location before 8pm
How do you submit your ballot?
No stamp is needed – just mark your ballot with blue or black ink, put it in the security envelope and the outer envelope, and sign the outer envelope. Then you can drop it in the mailbox to be postmarked before or on November 7, or drop it in any Ballot Drop Box before 8pm November 7
How can you register to vote?
You can Register to Vote online HERE before October 30th. You can also register or vote in person through November 7 at the Spokane County Elections Office, 1033 W Gardner Ave, Spokane, WA 99260.
Need to update your address?
If you have a Washington State driver’s license or identification card, you may update your address online through October 30: Login to VoteWA with your name and birth date, and follow the instructions. Or you can update your information in person at the Spokane County Elections Office, 1033 W Gardner Ave, Spokane, WA 99260
Can’t find your ballot?
You can print a Replacement Ballot! Just log on to VoteWA with your name and birth date, select ‘Online Ballot’ and print off your ballot and ballot packet.
Spokane County Measure 1 – PJALS position: NO
Two-Tenths of One Percent Sales and Use Tax for Criminal Justice, Public Safety, Correctional Infrastructure, and Behavioral Health Purposes
The Board of County Commissioners adopted Resolution No. 22-0824 concerning a sales and use tax increase pursuant to RCW 82.14.450.
If approved the County may impose an additional 0.2% county-wide sales and use tax, commencing April 1, 2024, and terminating December 31, 2054, to be used by the County and Cities and Towns within Spokane County for criminal justice, public safety, and behavioral health purposes, including building and improving jails or correctional facilities as provided in Resolution No. 22-0824.
PJALS opposes Measure 1 and we are working with the Justice Not Jails campaign to defeat it. Supporters such as County Commissioners French, Kerns, and Kuney, County Prosecutor Haskell, police, and sheriff are using misleading language to imply that Measure 1 will fund mental health services — but they haven’t offered any budget, specific plans, or commitments to provide services. On the contrary, their track record over the last decade is to oppose reforms and simply continue the push for more jail cells. 70% of Spokane County’s $140 million budget is already spent on the criminal justice system. We pay $126 every day to house each incarcerated person.
The jail system is the most expensive and least effective way to create community safety and wellness; it’s systematically racist, and it is harmful, not healing. Every consultant, committee, task force, and community process for the last decade has told the county to jail fewer people and make our community safer through proven strategies for recovery, healing, and support rather than creating more jail cells.
The County Commissioners, who will control all of the $1 billion the County will receive from this sales tax, have voted 3-2 to support the plan to double the number of jail cells with two new jail buildings adjacent to the current jail.
County politicians have been so determined to use deceptive language that PJALS and 9 other organizations had to file a legal challenge –which we won – to require the ballot language to give a true picture that this funding will be used for jail expansion. Spokane County must explain that $1.7 billion sales tax would pay for jails, judge rules
Across Spokane County, many of us know all too well the pain of seeing a loved one struggle with addiction, mental health, or homelessness, or have experienced these struggles ourselves. But today, certain politicians are trying to make us fear each other based on racial profiling and cruel stereotypes about houseless people so that we won’t join together to demand proven solutions to help our loved ones in crisis. They invent false claims about the need for a massive jail expansion to prop up their political careers and the agendas of their big donors. Locking away people for their struggles is a choice we don’t need to keep making.
By voting down massive jail expansion and then boosting resources for housing, treatment and recovery, we give our loved ones the chance to get the support they need to thrive. People we love need us to say no to Measure 1.
Vote No on Measure 1!
Volunteers needed to help educate voters
Spokane City Proposition 1 – PJALS position: NO
Initiative Prohibiting Encampments Near Schools, Parks, Playgrounds, & Child Care Facilities
Shall the Spokane Municipal Code be amended to prohibit encampments within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, public park, playground, or licensed child care facility as set forth in Ordinance No. C-36408?
PJALS joins the League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area and other organizations in opposing Proposition 1. Supporters of Proposition 1 are using misleading language to claim to protect kids — but in reality, Proposition 1 offers no solutions at all. In a Spokesman Editorial, LWV Jean Richardson explains why:
This amendment would result in a “cruel and unusual punishment” as defined by Martin v. Boise, the 2018 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision based on the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This ruling determined “that cities cannot enforce anti-camping ordinances if they do not have enough homeless shelter beds available for their homeless population.”
This proposition will result in further criminalizing homelessness without providing an alternative to an untenable situation. The camping ban proposed prohibits camping, regardless of shelter availability, and would make doing so a misdemeanor, resulting in a criminal record making obtaining permanent housing even more difficult than it already is in Spokane. The effect would be punishing the unsheltered for being poor and unable to afford the high cost of housing in Spokane, especially given the extremely low supply of affordable housing options.
A new map created by Rob Sauders, an Eastern Washington University professor of anthropology and geology, shows that this ban would cover 61% of the city, leaving only small pockets in neighborhoods and on the edges of town where it would not be illegal for the unsheltered to sleep. This proposition would simply move the unsheltered to less visible locations without solving the central underlying problem: lack of shelter and affordable housing.
Proposition 1 legislates where individuals experiencing homeless cannot exist. Ideally, people experiencing homelessness should not “camp” in front of downtown businesses, rights of way or in public parks. The League of Women Voters would like the city of Spokane to clearly communicate where the unsheltered can safely and legally live, without the fear of legal consequences or harassment, while they engage with service providers to gain access to housing, employment, mental health and substance use disorder services, as they wait for affordable housing to become available.
We believe everyone has the right to be housed. We oppose the criminalization of homelessness. We believe in using our city resources to increase shelter space, improve living conditions, and expand affordable housing. That’s why we are saying NO to Prop 1!