vote.jpgI love election days. Call me naive, but I actually feel the power when I bubble in that ballot. Yes, even still, even after all that's happened.

I'm one of the last few who still trod down to the local Boys & Girls club, past the American flag on the door, into the room of (bored and) smiling volunteers. I take my kids. I remember my mom taking me and my sisters. Soon, it will be a thing of the past and I'll have to settle for lining the kids up to watch me scribble in the little bubbles at the dining room table. "Lookit Mommy, kids! I'm voting!" It's just not the same, but they'll get the point: Voting is important. They need to know this; need to feel it on a cellular level, like I do, thanks to my mom.

Today, 13 local school districts have big measures on the ballot. Some are trying to build new schools to accommodate all the kids. Some just want to renew a promise made by voters four years ago to keep the kids up with technology. Today's vote will make a big difference in the daily life of thousands of little kids living in our communities. Take a minute to vote!

Polls are open now, until 8 p.m. tonight. Here's who's hoping for what:

Bellevue School District is running a big bond measure; $545 million to build or remodel three elementaries, two middle schools and Bellevue High.

Mercer Island wants to replace an expiring technology and capital-projects levy; $9.9 million.

Auburn is seeking a four-year, $113.7 million operations levy.

In Renton, voters will decide on a $150 million construction bond issue, a replacement program and operations levy, and a capital-projects levy.

Snoqualmie Valley is running a $189.6 million construction bond measure to build a new high school in the North Bend area and a new elementary school on Snoqualmie Ridge. This is the third try for this measure.

Snohomish is asking for a $262.6 million construction bond.

Clover Park, Dieringer, Eatonville, Orting and White River school districts want to replaceme expiring maintenance and operations levies that pay for transportation, athletic programs, additional teachers and teachers’ aides, and other expenses not provided by the state.

Franklin Pierce School District wants a $78.5 million bond measure to renovate and upgrade existing schools, build a preschool-community center (!) and an athletic facility.

School levies can now pass with a simple majority. Bond measures still need 60 percent to pass.

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