by Brian Zylstra | May 11th, 2012
For candidates throughout Washington, the official start to the 2012 campaign season kicks off Monday morning with Filing Week, which runs May 14 through May 18.
Online filing begins Monday at 9 a.m. and runs day and night until 4 p.m. next Friday, May 18. In-person filing starts Monday at 8 a.m. and ends at close of business on Friday. For the Office of Secretary of State, close of business is 5 p.m. If you’re a candidate running for a legislative or judicial office within one county, you file with your county elections office. If you’re running for a legislative or judicial office encompassing more than one county, you file with the Secretary of State. You can file online, by mail, or in person. In-person candidate filing at the Secretary of State’s office will be at our Executive Office, second floor of the Legislative Building in Olympia.
Filing Week previously took place in early June, but a state law passed in 2011 moved it to mid-May, starting this year. This year’s Top 2 Primary Election will end on Aug. 7, a week earlier than last year.
Candidates who wanted to get a head start on filing did so starting April 30 by mailing in their declaration. So far, our Elections Division has received 14 mail-in declarations, far above normal at this point.
Go here to learn how to get on the ballot and link to the 344 state offices open for election this year.
If you have questions about the Top 2 Primary, check out this FAQ section. Here are two questions we’ve heard lately:
Once candidate filing week is over, can a major party fill vacancies on the major party ticket?
No. This process was specifically repealed in I-872 because there is no major party ticket in a Top 2 Primary. All candidates are treated the same.
A race will only be reopened for a special filing period if there is a void in candidacy meaning no candidate filed during the regular filing period.
In races where only one or two candidates filed, will that race skip the Primary and only appear on the General Election ballot?
No. Even in races where only one or two candidates filed for a partisan office, that race will still appear in the Primary Election.