Education issues take top priority this election year

In King County, votes are coming in at record pace, not just by mail but also direct ballot drop offs, too.

“I love the line-up, it’s steady, it keeps coming so it’s awesome,” Renton resident Stephanie Hatley said.

The record turnout is driven much by the presidential vote but local voters also say education issues are top of mind.

People have strong opinions about schools amid the pandemic.

 “As for schools opening, I don’t think it’s time, we are on a path getting more outbreaks,” Hatley said.

RELATED: Washington voters to weigh-in on controversial sex ed bill 

“I think it’s ridiculous they are not allowing kids to go back to school,” Newcastle resident Jolene Winter said.

Other voters stopping by the Renton ballot box on Tuesday say the handling of our most vulnerable kids is weighing heavy with them.

“I am very concerned about the special education classes,” Eric Russell said.

 In Kent the Frey family says life overall is a struggle, and it’s swaying who and what they vote for.

“You’re stuck at home listening to the news and you’re paying attention to the politics you never paid attention to before,” Dawnee Frey said.

 If there is any good coming from that, Frey says she’s more involved and invested in what’s going on.

“This is one of our tougher elections for me just because there is so much at stake for our youth; our education has never been suffering more,” Frey said.

That means Frey did a lot more research than normal, including looking into Referendum 90 that deals with the issue of mandated sex education in schools.

“I looked at some of the curriculum in sex education and researched what that entailed myself, definitely looked at what’s happening in the pandemic,” Frey said.

 Referendum 90 is something Andy Stevens in Snohomish County says he is also closely watching.

“I actually support most of what’s in that bill but it was very obvious many people wanted to be heard and they weren’t,” Stevens said.

The father of two supports the idea of a more comprehensive sex education in schools but he says he disapproves of the way the legislature pushed it through without weighing the concerns of a majority of parents.

“You have to do things right so you don’t have this pushback, you don’t have a Referendum 90,” Stevens said.

It may be another election year but voters agree there is almost nothing normal about 2020.

 “It’s a different year all together; the whole world is changing,” Winter said.