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caption: King County drop box.
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King County drop box.
Credit: Juan Pablo Chiquiza / KUOW

King County officials will get shorter terms next election cycle

Voters have determined that those elected to 12 King County positions will serve shorter terms in the next election cycle.

It's a trade-off required by Charter Amendment 1, which moves all King County races from odd years to even years.

Proponents of Amendment 1 say it's a move that's better for democracy and argue that voter turnout is always much higher in even years. Presidential elections are also on even years. With more people voting, the aim is to have more people deciding who the county executive and council members are.

"We want the most people to vote and the voters just made one really big step to take us further in that direction by agreeing that these positions should be voted on by a much larger electorate," said King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, a supporter of Amendment 1.

As of Nov. 9, Charter Amendment 1 was passing with 70% of the vote.

The race for King County executive, assessor, elections director and county council will move to even years in 2026. They are four-year terms, but in the next cycle will be shortened to three to allow for the date change.