Trump & Clinton winning WA PrezPrimaries ?>

Trump & Clinton winning WA PrezPrimaries

White House

Washington voters turned out in droves for the first running of the state Presidential Primary in eight years. Election Night results included 1.2 million votes for Democratic and Republican candidates for the White House, more than 28 percent of the state’s registered voters.

Those numbers will swell as more returns are counted this week. Secretary of State Kim Wyman, the state’s chief elections officer, called the turnout “particularly amazing and gratifying, given the lateness of the primary on the national election calendar.”

Wyman added:

“Despite the fact that both parties have presumptive nominees and the Democrats declined to use the results to allocate national conventions this year, voters turned out in droves. Clearly, voters wanted a voice, and the Presidential Primary provided that opportunity.”

Wyman called on the Legislature to move the default date for the primary from the fourth Tuesday in May to the second Tuesday in March, and urged both parties to choose to use the primary results, starting in 2020. Republicans allocated all of their national delegates with the primary results; Democrats stuck with the old caucus process.

Donald Trump, the only GOP candidates still actively seeking the nomination, swept all 39 counties, with 76 percent of the statewide total.  Ted Cruz and John Kasich trailed with 10 percent apiece, and Ben Carson polled 4 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was winning with 54 percent, well ahead of Bernie Sanders, who had 46 percent. This was a turnaround from the caucus outcome, where Sanders swamped Clinton with 73 percent.

Counties will continue counting in the days ahead, completing most of the count by Friday afternoon. Counties will certify their results by June 7; Wyman’s office will certify the election by June 10.

Secretary Wyman’s comments on WA PrezPrimary ?>

Secretary Wyman’s comments on WA PrezPrimary

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman calls the robust turnout for the Washington Presidential Primary a “big win for the voters.”  Here is her statement:

“We are delighted with the robust turnout for the Washington Presidential Primary. It is a big win for the voters, who continue to embrace this inclusive and broad-based way to have their voices heard.

“The turnout, already 1.2 million strong and more than 28 percent of the 4.1 million ballots issued, will continue to grow as the 39 counties continue counting votes this week. The outstanding participation rate, far stronger than we saw for the caucuses, shows that our voters are fired up about the presidential race and want to be consulted about who will be our next president. It is particularly amazing and gratifying, given the lateness of the primary on the national election calendar. Despite the fact that both parties have presumptive nominees and the Democrats declined to use the results to allocate national convention delegates this year, voters turned out in droves.

“Clearly, voters wanted a voice, and the Presidential Primary provided that opportunity. Voters from both parties embraced the primary. Although Democrats knew the results were not binding on their national delegates, nearly 700,000 of them cast ballots as of Election Night, compared with about 490,000 Republicans. Interestingly, the Democrats’ primary results differ from those of the substantially less-attended caucuses.

“I call on the 2017 Legislature to move quickly, in bipartisan fashion, to move the Presidential Primary date to the front end of the election season, the second Tuesday in March, and I call on both parties to use the primary results for allocating national delegates, beginning in 2020.”

Filing Week launches campaigns for hundreds ?>

Filing Week launches campaigns for hundreds

2016 Filing Week lot draw

Minutes after Filing Week ends May 20, State Elections Director Lori Augino (left) and Elections Division staff do a lot draw to determine the order candidates will appear on the ballot.  (Photo courtesy of Patrick McDonald)

Washington’s 2016 election cycle is officially under way, with Filing Week completed and Secretary of State Kim Wyman certifying candidate lists to the 39 counties this week. Candidates also are preparing Voters’ Pamphlet statements, including photo, bio, statement and campaign contact information. Online deadline is May 27.

Filing Week produced a bumper crop of candidates — 680 for 345 offices. The Secretary of State  accepted filings for federal and statewide candidates, the state Supreme Court, and all legislative and judicial offices encompassing more than one county. (Here is a list of federal, statewide, legislative and judicial candidates who filed.) County election departments handled all other filings, including the Legislature, local offices, and precinct committee officer (2,190 Democrats and 1,855 Republicans in the latter category).

Seventeen candidates signed up for U.S. Senate, 11 each for governor and lieutenant governor, seven for lands commissioner, nine for state school superintendent, and smaller numbers for the other statewide posts.  Three incumbent state Supreme Court justices and their challengers signed up.  Many of the legislative seats drew attention, as did all 10 U.S. House districts.

Candidates could file in person, by mail or online, and most chose the latter option. State Elections Division staff set up in Secretary Wyman’s conference room in the Capitol for the week. They concluded with a random lot draw to determine candidates’ order on the ballot.

Wyman said:

“We’re grateful for all the candidates who stepped up to run for office this year. Self-government is so important in this state and country and it’s always good to see many contested elections.  This election year is really engaging voters and I expect a robust turnout in both our Aug. 2 Primary and our Nov. 8 General Election.”

Under Washington’s Top 2 system, candidates designate the party label they prefer, using up to 16 characters. The choice usually is Democratic or Republican, but candidates were free to use other party preferences or no label at all. The party designation does not necessarily mean the candidate carries that party’s blessings or affiliation. Judicial races, the state school superintendent and some other offices are nonpartisan.

The filing fee is 1 percent of one year’s salary for the office sought. Examples: U.S. Senate or House, $1,740; governor, $1,718.98; Legislature, $454.74; and state Supreme Court, $1,794.32.

Letter-writing champions, in their own words ?>

Letter-writing champions, in their own words

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Letters About Literature state champions (from left) Emily Maxfield, Joe Jacobsen and Grace Rivkis with Deputy Secretary of State Greg Lane after receiving their certificates during the awards ceremony at the Capitol. 

Three Washington students showed how inspiration can be passed forward.

The three state champions in this year’s Letters About Literature contest inspired a large audience at the Capitol Friday as they shared life lessons that they learned from authors who inspired them.

The Office of Secretary of State and Washington State Library honored top contestants during the event covered by TVW, which will air it and post it online.

Sponsored by the State Library and the Library of Congress, the competition encourages students to write a letter to an author of a book that changed their view of the world or themselves. Nearly 3,300 students in grades 4-12 took part statewide.

During the awards ceremony, this year’s three state champions read their letters for Deputy Secretary of State Greg Lane, family and friends in the Legislative Building’s Columbia Room. Winners were:

• Grace Rivkis, a sixth-grader at Pathfinder K-8 School in Seattle, is the Level 1 (grades 4-6) champion. Rivkis wrote her letter to Jennifer Roy about her book “Yellow Star.” From her letter:

I’m Jewish, and have always had some connection to the people who died in or survived that massacre. But Yellow Star brought me closer to this horror because it’s different from the other books I’ve read about the Holocaust. It told what it was like to survive the ghettos instead of the concentration camps or the time spent in hiding. When I read Yellow Star, I cry. I must have read it 20 times by now, but I’ve never gotten tired of it. It touches an emotional wellspring in me and probably every Jew. That drives me to make sure that nothing like the Holocaust happens again, ever, to anyone.

• Joe Jacobsen, a seventh-grader at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish, is the Level 2 (grades 7-8) champion. Jacobsen wrote his letter to Frederic Winkowski and Frank D. Sullivan about their book “100 Planes 100 Years.” Joe’s letter points out how the book reminded him of his father, who was diagnosed last summer with Multiple Myeloma, a type of bone cancer:

My dad spent at least 2 weeks at the hospital throughout the whole process of recovery. I would could home from school and he wouldn’t be there. It was very rare that I got to talk to him in October. He was too busy getting blood tests or chemo. I remember finishing my homework one day after school. I went down to my room to change out of my school clothes when I saw a gold book peeking out from underneath my dresser. I reached down to grab the book and began to read. Thoughts and memories swirled in my head. I remembered my old bed, with red covers and an airplane pillow case. I remember all the nights my dad would tuck me in and read 100 planes 100 years. Anytime I couldn’t see the planes, I would pull the book back towards me. This book really helped me think of my dad anytime I couldn’t be around him. I am really thankful not only for the information it provided, but for what it reminded me of: my dad.

My dad is now almost fully recovered, and even to this day, I still peek at the same book I did back in preschool. Who knows, maybe I will be a pilot one day.

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Level 3 state champion Emily Maxfield reads aloud her letter as the other two state champions and Deputy Secretary of State Lane listen.

• Emily Maxfield, a senior at Cedar Park Christian School, is the Level 3 champion (grades 9-12). Maxfield penned her letter to Sherman Alexie about her book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” In her letter, Emily tells Alexie how she met children on the Yakama Indian Reservation like Junior, a main character in the book, and how her family later moved from middle-class life in the Seattle suburbs to the reservation:

I hope I’m not who I used to be. The reality of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian brought me to another world, a world within my own and yet one that is entirely different. Little ones call me auntie or cousin here. My idea of community has vastly expanded: I’ve seen that communities not only spend time together, but communities bear one another’s burdens, laugh together, cry together, and strive to love, serve, and share with one another. I have a deep love for this group of people, my family of unrelated children, youth, and adults. The kids like Junior mean the world to me; the preschoolers I work with weekly hold a piece of my heart that I can never lose. I am eager to tell others that there are children like these, youth like the ones I know, and adults who are waiting for someone to love them, waiting to know that there is help and hope. As I’ve learned, you just have to be willing to fall, sometimes headfirst, into those roles of example and supporter. Because those are the roles that kept Junior going in the story.

“Grace, Joe and Emily wrote very thoughtful and moving letters,” Lane said. “It was a pleasure to hear them read their letters aloud and to honor them as our state champions this year. Congratulations not only to the students we honored today at the Capitol but the thousands who competed. They and their families should be very proud.”

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State champions and other LAL honorees gather for a group shot after the ceremony.

Lane and the State Library recognized the state champions, three second-place runners up and 27 honorable mention letter writers during the event.

Eighty schools from around the state had entries. The contest ran from September to January.

Students wrote a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work influenced their perspective on the world or themselves. Students can write about works of fiction, nonfiction or poetry. They cannot write about music lyrics, comic books or comic strips. National winners will receive a $1,000 cash award.

The Washington State Library and the Office of Secretary of State sponsored the competition as part of Washington Reads, which highlights books about Washington or the Pacific Northwest. The project is also sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. This is the 11th year that the State Library has run the contest in Washington. The State Library is a division of the Office of Secretary of State.

Presidential Primary Mock Election: Sanders cruises ?>

Presidential Primary Mock Election: Sanders cruises

2016 PP Mock Election #1

Students at Mount Erie Elementary School in Anacortes point to their “I Voted” stickers after voting in the Presidential Primary Mock Election. (Photos courtesy of Mount Erie)

We won’t know until next week which candidates Washington’s adult voters like in the state’s Presidential Primary. But judging by results from this week’s Presidential Primary Mock Election, the state’s K-12 students clearly are “feeling the Bern.”

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders gathered 70.6 percent of the students’ votes to easily defeat fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, who took in 29.4 percent. In fact, Sanders received nearly half (3,270) of the total number of votes in the mock election.

Donald Trump easily won on the Republican side, receiving 57 percent of the votes. Ted Cruz took second with 21.7 percent, followed by Ben Carson (10.8 percent) and John Kasich (10.5 percent).

Results can be viewed here, including a breakdown by city, school and county.

2016 PP Mock Election #2

Two students at Mount Erie Elementary School celebrate after voting in the mock election.

Nearly 6,900 K-12 students in Washington voted in the mock election, which began Monday morning and ended Friday at 1 p.m. The Mock Election allowed students to experience “voting” for presidential candidates. Sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State, the Mock Election is a nonpartisan educational program that teaches kids to be informed voters.

Jackie Wheeler, who organized the mock election for the state Elections Division, said it has energized students and increased their interest in the presidential election.

“The Presidential Primary Mock Election is great because it allows students to follow the presidential election process from start to finish, from the nominating process to the General Election,” says Wheeler, a voter education & outreach specialist. “I hope this will excite students to participate in the Mock Election this fall to see if the candidate they voted for this week will be on the ballot in November.”

Like the regular Student Mock Election held each fall before the statewide General Election, the Presidential Primary Mock Election was free and open to all Washington K-12 students who attend public, private or tribal school or are homeschooled.

1 million ballots returned as PrezPrimary enters homestretch ?>

1 million ballots returned as PrezPrimary enters homestretch

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As Washington’s Presidential Primary enters the final days of its voting period, nearly 1 million ballots already have been returned to counties.

“I’m very encouraged by the large number of ballots returned,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “It’s a clear indication that many Washington voters are interested in our Presidential Primary and want their voices heard during the presidential nominating season. There is a lot of interest and excitement among  voters.”

As of late Thursday afternoon, more than 981,000 ballots have been returned, or 24 percent of the ballots mailed out to Washington’s nearly 4.1 million registered voters. Wyman and Elections Division officials expect returned ballots to hit the 1 million mark Friday.

Voting began for most Washington voters on May 6, although military and overseas voters received their ballots weeks earlier. Voters have until May 24 to return their Presidential Primary ballot. Ballot envelopes must be postmarked by May 24, but state Elections Director Lori Augino suggests voters use free, secure ballot drop boxes provided by counties. Return by drop box must be done by 8 p.m. on May 24.

Wyman and Augino remind voters that they need to mark a party declaration for their vote to count in the Presidential Primary. They note that the Presidential Primary, unlike the state’s Top 2 Primary, involves party nominations and major political parties can require that voters declare a party declaration.

Election night results will be tallied and posted, with opening day numbers available after 8 p.m. on May 24. Daily updates will be provided after that.

Results will be available at our vote.wa.gov website and free smartphone apps, WA State Election Results.

 

Classic WA photos: Critters at Rainier NP ?>

Classic WA photos: Critters at Rainier NP

Raccoonpix

Nowadays, visitors to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington’s Cascades are discouraged from feeding the animals there. But that wasn’t always the case.

This photo, taken sometime between 1920 and 1960, shows a young couple feeding a raccoon outside a building in the popular park. The sign on the steps says, “No dog or cats allowed in this building.” Apparently, the raccoon knew this. Or maybe it just knew that looking cute would score it a snack.

The photo is part of the State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, which includes more than 5,000 images of a wide variety of subjects related to Washington’s history, people, geography and economic development. Just how wide a variety, you ask? They cover agriculture, Boeing, bridges, canals, Capitol Campus buildings, cities, Civilian Conservation Corps projects, counties, dams, expositions, fairs, ferries, fishing, forts, ghost towns, historic buildings and houses, historical markers, lakes, libraries, lighthouses, logging, mountains, Native Americans, parks, portraits, railroads, rivers, schools, Statehood, steamboats, totem poles, trees, universities and colleges, waterfalls and other subjects. The collection is found in the State Digital Archives.

From the Archives: governors’ news conference photos ?>

From the Archives: governors’ news conference photos

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(Photos courtesy of Washington State Archives)

Those of you who have watched Gov. Inslee or any of his predecessors hold a news conference on TV know that such events are typically held in the Governor’s Conference Room. It’s a large, formal-looking room to the left of the front lobby in the Governor’s Office.

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Our State Archives has many photos of news conferences held by Washington governors over the years. The top photo shows Gov. Dan Evans answering reporters’ questions during a 1969 news conference. The middle shot features Gov. Chris Gregoire during a 2006 news conference. (Note that the gentleman in the blue shirt is then-AP reporter David Ammons, now our OSOS communications director!) The bottom shot shows an empty Governor’s Conference Room in 1927. What, no news conference?

Governor's conference room 1927

The top photo is in the Digital Archives’ State Governors’ Negative Collection, 1949-1975. The middle photo is found in the Archives’ Washington State Patrol photo collection. The bottom photo is found in the State Digital Archives’ Susan Parish Photograph Collection, 1889-1990.

 

Filing Week makes it official for WA candidates ?>

Filing Week makes it official for WA candidates

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Many Washington candidates have been campaigning for months, but it all becomes official May 16-20 with state Filing Week.

Candidates for U.S. Senate and House, all nine statewide executive offices, most of the legislative seats, the judiciary and some local offices will sign up, designate their party preference and pay a filing fee.

The Secretary of State will accept filings for federal and statewide candidates, the state Supreme Court, and all legislative and judicial offices encompassing more than one county. County election departments will handle all other filings.

At told, 346 offices are open for election, including 90 filing with the Secretary.

Candidates may file in person, by mail or online. State Elections Division staff will set up in Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s conference room in the Capitol for the week. They will do a random lot draw after filing concludes to determine candidates’ order on the ballot.

Wyman said:

“Filing Week is an exciting time for candidates and helps energize their campaigns. We expect a bumper crop of high-quality candidates and some lively campaigns, hotly contested in many cases. Along with the presidential race and ballot propositions, it will be a feast for voters. I expect a very robust turnout.”

Under Washington’s Top 2 system, candidates will designate the party label they prefer, using up to 16 characters. The choice usually is Democratic or Republican, but candidates are free to use other party preferences or no label at all. The party designation does not necessarily mean the candidate carries that party’s blessings or affiliation. Judicial races, the state school superintendent and some other offices are nonpartisan.

The filing fee is 1 percent of one year’s salary for the office sought. Examples: U.S. Senate or House, $1,740; governor, $1,718.98; Legislature, $454.74; state Supreme Court, $1,794.32.

Candidates may also submit Voters’ Pamphlet statement and photo. Financial disclosure is handled through the Public Disclosure Commission and, for U.S. House and Senate, the Federal Elections Commission.

WA students can vote in PrezPrimary Mock Election ?>

WA students can vote in PrezPrimary Mock Election

2012 Mock Election photo

While Washington voters will have until May 24 to fill out and return their Presidential Primary ballots, thousands of students in grades K-12 soon will have their own chance to experience voting by taking part in a special Presidential Primary Mock Election.

The Mock Election lets students experience “voting” for presidential candidates. Sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State, the Mock Election is a nonpartisan educational program that teaches kids to be informed voters.

Like the regular Student Mock Election held each fall before the statewide General Election, the Presidential Primary Mock Election is free and open to all Washington K-12 students who attend public, private or tribal school or are homeschooled. Voting takes place online, starting May 16 at 9 a.m. and ending May 20 at 1 p.m.

Students can vote by going to the Presidential Primary Mock Election website here. Students who participate will receive free “I Voted!” stickers from their teachers.

Students can choose among these presidential candidates who are on the Presidential Primary ballot that Washington’s registered voters recently received: Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, or Republicans Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump. Cruz and Kasich suspended their campaigns earlier this month, long after ballots were printed. Carson did not submit a signed form withdrawing from the Washington Presidential Primary, even though he dropped out of the race in early March, so his name is on the ballot for both the Presidential Primary and the Mock Election.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman said the Mock Election gives students a taste of what it’s like to help choose America’s next president during the primary process:

“This year has been one of the most interesting and closely watched presidential campaigns we’ve seen in many years. This Mock Election is a great way to introduce students to voting and let them vote for their favorite presidential candidate. It’s important that Washington students develop the skills and interest to fully engage in our democracy. Voting is a key part of that.”

Wyman said one reason why the Mock Election is fun is it allows everyone to compare students’ voting results with how adults vote later.

Results will be posted online for the state and by school on the Elections Division webpage immediately after the Mock Election ends May 20.

Nearly 130,000 students have voted in Washington’s annual Mock Election each fall since 2004.

For additional information about the Mock Election, contact Jackie Wheeler in the Elections Division at (360) 902-4143 or jackie.wheeler@sos.wa.gov.

Wheeler says free resources are available for teachers, including the curriculum book Teaching Elections in Washington State. The lessons offered in the curriculum book are for grades K-12, meet state and Common Core standards, and satisfy the civics coursework for graduation. OSPI-developed classroom-based assessments are provided with each lesson.