Today, King County Council members Bob Ferguson, D-Seattle, and Reagan Dunn, R-Bellevue, took a step toward making elections in King County worse. All the County Council Republicans and Democrat Ferguson, who latches onto lousy ideas and won't let go, want the voters to change King County's charter so that we elect an auditor to run our elections. Ferguson's support means there is a majority of the nine-member council backing the idea. Currently, the director of Records, Elections, and Licensing Services is appointed by an elected official—the King County executive, who is Democrat Ron Sims.
It is a terrible idea to politicize the role of chief voter counter. The auditor is a position that should be immune from such things as campaigning, fund raising, and party politics. We suffer from too much direct democracy in Washington state, where we elect justices of the state Supreme Court and any rich fool can put an initiative on the ballot.
The result is that too many voters don't adequately educate themselves and end up guessing about whom or what to support. Our votes should be counted by an apolitical professional, not a glad-handing, money-raising, sound-bite-spouting politician.