Rain, sleet, or snow, Washington's special election will be held Tuesday. Ballots must be postmarked or put in an election drop box by 8:00 p.m.

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Special elections usually fund school and fire districts, instead of electing candidates to office. Here's what to look out for in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties. 

King County 

There are two levies for the Seattle School District on the ballot in February to replace expiring ones. Proposition 1 would approve $815 million for educational programs and operations. Proposition 2 would approve $1.4 billion for capital improvements: 16 schools would get earthquake and other safety improvements, and 72 other schools would receive major maintenance projects. Prop. 2 would also approve funding for technology improvements throughout the school district.

Renton School District has two levies. Proposition 1 would approve safety and security improvements throughout the district and build a new elementary school in the Hazeen Feeder area. Proposition 2 would approve a levy of $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value for three years starting in 2020 to replace an expiring levy for educational programs and operations expenses.

The other two levies are for fire and water. Proposition 1 would approve the use of benefit charges for six more years at the Northshore Fire Department. The other levy, Prop. 2 would approve a merger between King County Water District No. 45 and No. 20.  

Pierce County

The three levies in Pierce county are for school safety improvements. If passed, Yelm would get a new middle school, a new elementary school, and safety and security improvements. Proposition 1 for Yelm Community Schools would make security and safety improvements like lighting and fencing at all schools. Yelm Middle School and Southworth Elementary School would both be replaced, and the portable classrooms would be removed.

Proposition 1 for the Peninsula School District would approve $198,550,000 in bonds to buy land for a future school and possibly rebuild and expand Artondale Elementary and Evergreen Elementary schools. The levy also funds upgrades to existing schools in the district.

Funding for a new Bethel High School and two new elementary schools is back on the ballot after failing in November by 307 votes. Proposition 1 for the Bethel School District would generate $443 million by taxing property owners at $1.42 per $1,000 assessed value. It would also fund renovations and expansions for other schools in the district.

Snohomish County

The two big items in Proposition 1 in Snohomish County are for funding to replace Post Middle School in Arlington, and money for renovations at the high school to ease overcrowding. The levy would approve a tax of $1.42 per $1,000 assessed value and generate $96,215,667. 

The second ballot measure would dissolve Snohomish County Fire District 1. The fire district stopped providing fire and EMS service in October 2017 when the South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue Regional Authority was created. If passed in February, Fire District 1 would dissolve and be absorbed into South Snohomish County Fire.

Kitsap County

Like Pierce County, Kitsap has three levies for school improvements.

Proposition 1 for the Bremerton School District would approve $7,675,000 to fund capital projects like school safety and security improvements. Proposition 1 for the Bainbridge Island School District would approve $2.5 million in funding each year for six years starting in 2020. It would be used to finish construction at the new high and for upgrades at other schools in the district.

The third levy on the ballot is for Central Kitsap School District and would provide $18 million in funding for three years starting in 2020. The funding would replace the current levy that expires this year.

The fourth levy in the county is not for schools. It would renew an existing property tax for Bainbridge Island Fire District. If approved, the tax would remain permanent.


Election day is February 12. Ballots must be mailed by that day or put in an election drop box by 8:00 p.m.

Join us on February 12 for live coverage of special elections results on KING 5 and king5.com.