Ted Maroutsos doesn’t mind being left off the list of names now

Ted Maroutsos doesn’t mind being left off the list of names now circulating among the who’s who for the Elections Director post. In fact, it fits with nicely with his strategy. Maroutsos, 27, is planning a sneak attack on the job, via Facebook. The King County citizenry voted last month to make the elections director an elected instead of appointed position. Because the race will be short and turnout for the February special election likely low, the winner may only need a small percentage of the votes to be swept into office. And the field was blown wide open when King County Council Member Julia Patterson decided not to run after mulling a bid this fall. Maroutsos, who graduated from UW in 2004 with a degree in political science and works at the university on an IT help desk, plans to mobilize the youth vote. “I’m going to make sure the ballot box on [University] Ave. gets filled up,” he says. “A lot of young people are still excited about voting in the last election. If we can just get them to drop off one more ballot…”He may not have the name recognition of state Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn) or Jason Osgood, who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Sam Reed as secretary of state. But Maroutsos does have a Web site and Facebook page– something only one of the 11 other hopefuls, Osgood, has. (And Osgood’s Web site and Facebook group are still filled with his secretary of state material.)Maroutsos, who isn’t soliciting donations, admits he and his backersare an unconventional team. But he argues he has the skills needed forthe job. “I have the ability to manage people and would take a commonsense approach,” he says. His platform? “I think the biggest thing withthe switch to all voting by mail wouldbe to improve accessibility, increase the number of drop boxes, thatsort of thing.”Maroutsos says the current elections director,Sheryl Huff, has done a “fair job” turning the department around sincethe debacle of 2004 when ballots were mistakenly counted or lostaltogether. “It’s important to make sure the changes stay implemented,”he says. He adds that his non-partisan status also makes him agood fit for the position and perhaps a formidable dark horsecandidate. “There seem to be equal numbers of D’s and R’s running. I’mhoping that they’ll cannibalize each other’s votes.”

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