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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.


​Jurisdictions have the authority to put issues and measures on the ballot for voter approval. Below you will find information on the various types of local ballot issues and measures that jurisdictions can place on the ballot. We also recommend jurisdictions read the Department of Revenue Ballot Measure Requirements page.

Special Elections

Local jurisdictions have the authority to request a special election by submitting a resolution to the County Auditor's Office by the resolution deadlines. Jurisdictions can conduct special elections in conjunction with the primary, general, or spring election dates as authorized by law.

Taxation Measures


Bond issues allow for the collection of taxes and creation of long-term bonds (for example, 20 year bonds). Bonds often fund capital improvement projects.


Levies allow for the collection of a set amount of taxes over a short period (usually two or four years). They often fund continued maintenance, operation or services within a district or jurisdiction. Sometimes levies fund upgrades or enhancements.

Levy Lid Lift (Levy Lid increases)

Levy lid lifts temporarily increase the amount of taxes collected within a district or jurisdiction with an existing levy in place.

Sales and Use Tax

Sales and use taxes place a tax upon the users of certain service within a district or jurisdiction. A district or jurisdiction may choose a sales or use tax when their operating costs exceed expected revenues.

Other Measures


Non-binding questions placed before the voters of a district or jurisdiction for the purpose of helping that district or jurisdiction make a decision on a current or future issue.

Change the Form of Government

A request to change the classification of a jurisdiction. For instance, a town becoming a city.


A request to add an area of land not currently within a jurisdiction's boundaries. Cities often annex new land because of population or residential growth.

Voter Approval of Measures

While some ballot measures require a simple majority to pass, others require a supermajority and validation to pass. We recommend jurisdictions read the Department of Revenue's Ballot Measure Requirements page for full details. Below you will find a brief description of how the type of ballot measure impacts requirements for voter approval.


Bonds require 40% validation and a super majority (60%) to pass. Validation refers to the number of voters required to participate in the election for it to be considered valid. The 40% number refers to the percentage of voters who need to participate compared to the prior year's General Election. For example, if 10,000 voters voted in the prior year's General Election, 4,000 would need to vote and 60% of those voters would need to vote "Yes" to approve the bond.

Excess Levies

The minimum "Yes" vote must be 24% of the number of voters in the district who participated in the prior year's General Election. For example, if 10,000 voters voted in the prior year's General Election, 2,400 must vote "Yes" and 60% of the total votes case must be "Yes" to approve an excess levy.

Levy Lid Lift, School District Levies & Sales and Use Taxes

All these measure require a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass.