- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle voters may need some extra help figuring out the November ballot landing in their mailbox this week, because there are four items up for a vote all called proposition or petition No. 1.

To add to the confusion, two of the proposals concern transportation and two involve preschool education.

The full names and explanations of the measures add some clarity and so does the voters’ pamphlet. Voters have 2½ weeks to figure it out before the Nov. 4 election.

Promoters of one of the preschool measures - Proposition 1B - are worried about the confusing ballot, said Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for the preschool measure.

“That said, at the end of the day, Seattle voters are smart and they will do their homework and they will sort out what the differences are,” Kaushik added.

Kim Van Ekstrom, spokeswoman for King County Elections, acknowledges it could be worse. Any district in the city or county could put a measure on the ballot and they could all be called Proposition No. 1.

There are about 10 districts that could be asking Seattle voters to decide an issue - think fire, water, schools, parks, ports, etc.

They are allowed by law to pick their own ballot numbers. But as Ekstrom explains, “We encourage them to go in numerical order.”

If they don’t pick their own number, the elections office picks one for them and their numbering protocol begins with No. 1.

Ekstrom notes that one of the ballot proposals - Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1 - would create a new district (a city transportation district that focuses on monorail travel) that could submit more propositions in the future.

Ekstrom thinks voters will focus on the ballot names and descriptions not their numbers.

But Seattle Mayor Ed Murray predicts voter confusion will make a difference this election.

“It certainly will be a factor. How much? I don’t know,” he said on Thursday.


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