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WA voters: 4 million strong! ?>

WA voters: 4 million strong!

 

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson headlined an event to celebrate a milestone: Washington has surpassed 4 million registered voters for the first time in state history.

During the ceremony at Anderson’s offices in Tacoma on Monday, Wyman and Anderson introduced the 4 millionth voter, 18-year-old Katarina Gruber of Pierce County. Gruber went to Pierce County Elections on her birthday in late March to register to vote in person.

“This is a big moment for Washington voters,” Wyman said.  “We are 4 million strong! Thanks to outreach efforts by the state and county elections offices, we’ve seen a steady increase in voter registrations over the years. We have our state’s Presidential Primary coming soon, as well as a General Election that features President, Governor and other statewide offices, legislative and other races on the ballot, so I strongly encourage people to register to vote and take part in these important and exciting upcoming elections.”

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Secretary Wyman (left) and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson (right) with Katarina Gruber, honored as Washington’s 4 millionth voter.

Wyman praised Gruber, a senior at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, for taking time on her 18th birthday to register in person at her county elections office.

“That shows a real commitment to voting. When people register to vote at a young age, they tend to become lifelong voters and engage in community life. We hope young adults follow Katarina’s lead and register now and then have their voices heard by voting,” Wyman said.

“It’s gratifying to see the person behind the record!” Anderson said. “Katarina’s intentionality is inspiring. She very intentionally registered and I absolutely know that she will be a regular voter. She is truly engaged.”

“I thought it was important to vote because as American citizens we all have a voice,” Gruber said. “Voting gives us that voice and you can best believe that I am not going to live in this country and not use my voice.”

April 25 is the deadline for online or mail-in voter registrations or address changes or other registration updates before May’s Washington Presidential Primary. People can learn more about registering online or via mail by going here.

Those who are not registered to vote in Washington have until May 16 to register in person at their county elections office in order to vote in the Presidential Primary. Information about county elections offices can be found here.

Secretary Wyman helps launch bipartisan voter project ?>

Secretary Wyman helps launch bipartisan voter project

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman has joined Starbucks and business and non-profit leaders and voter groups in helping launch a nationwide project to encourage employees to register, vote and engage themselves in their communities.

img-114aaThe project is being organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Wyman has been in conversation with Starbucks corporate leaders in Seattle about ways to enhance voter participation. The company is among the organizing sponsors. Marriott International, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and others have joined the effort, as have BPC leaders from both parties and election leaders, including Secretary Wyman.

The project is providing guiding principles for participating organizations and technical support to connect organizations with local election administrators.

The national media kit includes this quote from Wyman, the only Secretary or election administrator quoted:

“The election officials of America should welcome the creative, powerful and forward-looking strategies the Bipartisan Policy Center is launching,” said Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who has spent most of her adult life in election administration and working on reforms at the county, state and national level. “It is the job of all of us to work tirelessly to remove barriers, promote civility, and encourage people to vote and get engaged in democracy. We are a better nation when that happens. We desperately need better civic dialogue and involvement by each and every qualified voter.”

Mack Strong says register and then vote strong! ?>

Mack Strong says register and then vote strong!

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As Washington bears down on a Monday, Oct. 5, voter deadline to register online or by mail, Secretary Wyman enlisted a little Seahawks star power to help spread the message.  Two-time Pro Bowler Mack Strong, the Hawks’ popular and talented fullback for many years, graciously taped a 30-second video urging all eligible Washingtonians to get registered and then to vote.

 

 

Ballots will be coming out in just a few weeks, Secretary Wyman noted, and every vote matters. Registration is a snap. The easy portal for registering and other information is here.

 

 

WA Elections Division contacting 218k potential voters ?>

WA Elections Division contacting 218k potential voters

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Washington election officials are sending out postcards this week to about 218,000 state residents who appear eligible to vote, but haven’t registered.

The mailing has a simple message that online registration is easy: “3 minutes. Click. Done.”

The postcard notes that the recipients aren’t on the voter rolls and that they are invited to register online or by mail by Oct. 5 in order to take part in the General Election. First-time Washington voters may also register in person at their county elections office by Oct. 26.

Washington residents are eligible to vote if they are at least 18, a U.S. citizen and not under custody of the Department of Corrections for a Washington felony.

“We hope these postcards will provide just the nudge for people to go online and get registered,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman, the state’s chief elections officer.

The mailing list was generated by information from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a non-profit organization of member states that helps improve the accuracy of voter (more…)

It’s National Voter Registration Day! ?>

It’s National Voter Registration Day!

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Need a reason to register to vote in time for this fall’s General Election? How about this: It’s National Voter Registration Day!

The National Association of Secretaries of State, in which Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is involved as an executive board member, has declared September 22 as National Voter Registration Day. NASS also has chosen September as National Voter Registration Month.

If you’re a Washington citizen who isn’t registered to vote and you want to vote in this year’s General Election, you have until October 5 to register online or make an address change or other updates. October 26 is the deadline for new voter registrations prior to the General Election, but you have to register in person at your county elections department.

WA Election 2014 under way; 62% turnout forecast ?>

WA Election 2014 under way; 62% turnout forecast

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Washington’s General Election is under way.  About 65,000 military and overseas ballots were going out by Saturday, Sept. 20, many of them sent electronically, and those voters are able to begin voting as soon as they receive their ballots.

The other 3.8 million registered voters will be getting ballots and Voters’ Pamphlets by this time next month. The 18-day voting period kicks off Oct. 17.

Ballots can be voted any time after they are received. They may be returned by mail, in person, or by using a county-supplied dropbox.  Postmark deadline is Election Day, Nov. 4; dropboxes may be used until 8 p.m. Election Day.  Results will be available online and via smart-phone apps after 8 p.m. Election Night.

Deadline for online and mail-in voter registration is Oct. 6.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman is forecasting a 62 percent voter participation for the mid-term election, or roughly double the turnout in this year’s primary.  The 62 percent figure is lower than the turnout for the two previous midterm elections (71 percent in 2010 and 65 percent in 2006), primarily because this year we have no U.S. Senate

(more…)

Wyman, county auditors reach out to potential voters ?>

Wyman, county auditors reach out to potential voters

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Are you a Washington resident who is eligible to vote but hasn’t registered yet? Expect a postcard in the mail soon that encourages you to register in time for this fall’s General Election.

That’s the word from state Elections Division officials, who are joining Washington’s 39 county auditors to mail voter registration information to 210,000 eligible residents who haven’t registered yet. About one-third of the recipients are 18-year-olds and 60 percent are under 30. The postcards are being mailed through Sept. 24.

“We hope that citizens receiving the postcard will realize how easy it is to register online to vote here in Washington,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “Registering is that key step that will allow them to speak through their ballot on the important races and measures facing voters this fall.”

The eye-catching postcard will contain information on how to register to vote, including eligibility requirements, the web address for online registration and a toll-free number if the recipient wants to request a paper form or has questions about the postcard.

Oct. 6 is the deadline for online or mail-in voter registrations and updates before this fall’s General Election ending Nov. 4. Oct. 27 is the last day for persons currently not registered to apply in person at their county elections office. (more…)

Wyman urges more time for online registration ?>

Wyman urges more time for online registration

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Secretary Wyman listens as Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon testifies before the Senate  Government Operations Committee on HB 1267, the voter registration deadline bill that he has prime-sponsored. (Photo courtesy of Gracelin Moore)

A bill seeking to change voter registrations deadlines before a Primary or General Election has drawn the support of Secretary of State Wyman, the state’s chief elections official.

House Bill 1267 would extend the online registration deadline to 11 days before the election, rather than the current 29 days. The in-person registration deadline would be adjusted to the same 11-day deadline, from the current eight. The mail-in registration deadline would be changed from 29 to 28 days. The House passed the measure earlier this session and awaits action in the upper chamber.

Wyman told the Senate Government Operations Committee Thursday that the bill would make the voting process easier by allowing voter registrations to be processed more efficiently and accurately by using the most cost-effective process.

HB 1267 would establish that last-minute electronic registrations will coordinate with the in-person registration deadline and that the deadline is moved back three days, from a Monday to a Friday, she noted. This allows for additional time to process the last-minute registrations accurately by county auditors, she and sponsors said. Moving the mail-in deadline from a Monday to a Tuesday would address the issue of registration applications not being postmarked in time due to a federal holiday. The U.S. Postal Service does not postmark on federal holidays, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Columbus Day, which fall on Mondays before certain registration deadlines.

Online voter registratation deadline is Monday ?>

Online voter registratation deadline is Monday

Chase Warren

Chase Warren, who just turned 18, holds up his voter registration form, completed on his birthday. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Way)

Congratulations to Chase Warren of Olympia, not only for his 18th birthday but for remembering to register to vote! Chase stopped by our office Friday afternoon, quickly and painlessly filled out a voter registration form, and left as a Washingtonian voter. He helped Washington move just a little closer to the 4-million-registered-voter mark.

Chase chose to register the old-school way, using a paper registration form. But you can also register online or via mail. Just remember that next Monday (Oct. 7 ) is the last day to register to vote online or by mail in time to vote in the General Election later this fall. Monday is also the last day to update your registration status, such as a change of address.  If you’ve never registered to vote in Washington, don’t fret.  You have until Oct. 28 to register in person at your county elections department!

 

Voters across WA & USA signing up for `incredibly important’ elections ?>

Voters across WA & USA signing up for `incredibly important’ elections

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Hoping to boost voter registration, Washington is taking part in a nationwide registration push by the National Association of Secretaries of State.

The organization, headed by a board that includes Secretary Kim Wyman, has declared September as National Voter Registration Month and Sept. 24 as National Voter Registration Day.  In Washington state, there are two important deadlines to remember: Oct. 7 is deadline for online registration for new registrations and for updates such as address changes.   And Oct. 28 is the last day for in-person registrations for new Washington voters.

Wyman is urging all qualified residents to get signed up:

“It’s easy as pie — Washington apple pie — to get registered.  Many people still register when they get their driver’s license renewed, or they drop by their county auditor’s office or take part in a registration drive by student groups, League of Women Voters or other organizations.  But for an increasing number of people, it’s as easy as 1-2-3, going online, 24-7.

“I really urge all eligible Washingtonians to take this important step of citizenship … and then vote!”

Ballots for the General Election will be going out by mail in mid-October. The postmark deadline for returning by mail or using a dropbox is Nov. 5.

State Elections Director Lori Augino said the 2013 election may not have the sizzle of a presidential year, but is significant in its own way as Washington voters pick local government leaders and decide on ballot propositions. She added:

“This upcoming election is incredibly important. Voters will decide on local races and measures, as well as two statewide initiatives and five state tax advisory measures. Keeping your registration up-to-date ensures that you will receive your ballot in time to participate. During National Voter Registration Month, let’s show the rest of the country that Washington takes voting seriously.

“We’re at 3,904,682 registered voters. I challenge us to meet the 4 million mark!  Now that would be something to brag about.”

Voters don’t register by party in Washington and once you register, you’ll automatically get a ballot mailed to your home address every election, roughly three weeks before Election Day. You can fill out your ballot as soon as you wish and then get it turned in.

NASS President Tre Hargett of Tennessee said over 62 million voter registrations and updates were processed during the 2012 presidential election cycle.  He noted that about 10.6 percent of eligible Americans of voting age have not yet registered.