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Elections

Filing week 2018: Look who’s on the ballot now

Filing week 2018: Look who’s on the ballot now

Now that filing week for candidates to get onto Washington ballots for the 2018 August Primary and November General Election has passed, along with the May 21st deadline for candidates to withdraw their names, here are a few quick facts about this year’s election lineup With 596 races to be decided on levels from local to federal, 1,151 candidates filed to run — including 30 candidates for U.S. Senate, which is one of the largest fields in Washington history. It…

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Time to sign up to run on the 2018 ballot

Time to sign up to run on the 2018 ballot

Although fervent politicking began weeks ago in races across the state, the official start of election season arrives Monday, with the beginning of Candidate Filing Week 2018. From May 14-18, candidates for federal, state, and local offices from county commissioner to U.S. Senator must register with county elections offices or the Office of Secretary of State to get their names onto ballots for this year’s elections cycle. The 596 races on this year’s Washington ballots include legislative races in every…

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Al Swift and Ralph Munro: How motor voter went national

Al Swift and Ralph Munro: How motor voter went national

Tacoma native and former U.S. Rep. Al Swift, who died April 20 at 82, was a national leader in expanding voter participation across the political spectrum. The motor-voter bill President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993 was authored by Swift, as was the version that had been vetoed by President George Bush in 1992. In a career that also included the legislative victories of restored Amtrak service between Seattle and British Columbia and mandatory handicapped access to polling places,…

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Signatures and state law: The enduring power of the pen

Signatures and state law: The enduring power of the pen

Even though the routine act of signing your name to authorize credit-card charges will soon become history, it is perhaps premature to consider the pen-and-paper signature doomed to obsolescence. Across the U.S., government at all levels remains legally reliant on hand-signed names in an immense number of ways. Federally, you might be able to electronically sign a tax return for the Internal Revenue Service, but a U.S. Passport and a Social Security card each require a written signature. The rationale goes back…

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April special election is underway

April special election is underway

For about 20 percent of Washington voters, today marks the beginning of the chance to cast ballots in a special election. Ballot boxes opened this morning for the April special election, the second of four election cycles for Washington voters in 2018. There’s plenty of time to participate: Election day is April 24, and the deadline for in-person voter registration with county election officials is April 16. So what’s on the ballot? For voters in 15 of Washington’s 39 counties…

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After the session: The OSOS report on the 2018 Legislature

After the session: The OSOS report on the 2018 Legislature

Going into the 2018 session of the Washington State Legislature, Secretary of State Kim Wyman presented a list of proposed changes to state law to improve our state’s elections process. Now that the state House of Representatives and Senate have adjourned sine die, here’s a look at how proposals supported by Secretary Wyman fared. Presidential primary date change: Washington’s quadrennial (every four years) presidential primary would have moved from May to March under Senate bill 5333 and House bill 1469, which were…

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February 2018 Special Election: Turnout insights

February 2018 Special Election: Turnout insights

All but two of Washington’s 39 counties held special elections earlier this month, and the results have now been certified. As of Friday, Feb. 23, the counts became official: 896,507 of the state’s 2,761,020 eligible registered voters had weighed in on hundreds of local issues, largely related to government structure and tax propositions. Those figures provide a few insights: The 32.5 percent voter turnout rate is the lowest for a February special election in the last decade, which is as…

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Understanding the February Special Election

Understanding the February Special Election

Did you know there’s an election coming up on Tuesday, February 13th? Springtime special elections sometimes get overlooked, especially when it feels like the recent November election is so fresh in mind. But in the February 2018 special election, 65 percent of Washington’s registered voters are eligible to participate — that’s 2,753,553 people. Voters from all but two counties have issues and/or races on the February ballot. San Juan and Skamania are the exceptions, but not all other counties have…

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Student Mock Election results mirror statewide outcome

Student Mock Election results mirror statewide outcome

Each year, students across Washington get to participate in a mock election to show how they would vote on candidates and measures if given the chance in real life. The Mock Election is a non-partisan, educational event that teaches kids to be informed voters. Nearly 180,000 students have voted in Washington’s annual Mock Election since 2004. Students vote on the same measures and candidates adults will decide. Not surprisingly, the student results were very similar to those of Washington’s registered voters who…

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WTBBL hosts event to help voters with disabilities

WTBBL hosts event to help voters with disabilities

In conjunction with Get out the Disability Vote Week, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library  hosted an event to help members of the disability community take part in this summer’s Primary. Accessible voting units were made available at WTBBL Wednesday for voters who need assistance completing their ballot. The event was a partnership between WTBBL and the National Federation of the Blind of Washington, Washington Council of the Blind, King County Elections and the state Elections Division. WTBBL is…

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