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Facebook helps spread the word: Register to vote! ?>

Facebook helps spread the word: Register to vote!

Phone with facebook app running

Facebook has launched an internet drive to prompt people to register to vote, including many in Washington.

From Friday through Monday, Sept. 26, people on Facebook who are 18 and older will get a reminder at the top of their news feed urging them to get registered to vote – or if they already are registered, to remind their FB friends to do so.

Secretary of State  Kim Wyman, the state’s chief elections official, said Washington could set a single-day registration record. The previous spike, also prompted by Facebook, was 13,109 on March 18. The previous high-water mark was 12,655 on Oct. 8, 2012, ahead of that year’s registration deadline.

This year’s deadline for online and mail registration is Oct. 10.

Wyman noted we’ve been celebrating September as National Voter Registration Month and this coming Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, and added:

“We are delighted to partner with Facebook and welcome every single eligible person to sign up.”

State Elections Director Lori Augino said social media are a powerful way to reach potential voters, including millennials. She also noted that the state is sending out postcards to 140,000 Washington residents who appear to be eligible, inviting them to go online and register.

Ballots went out to about 72,000 military and overseas voters this week, and can be cast right away. Ballots for the rest of the 4.1 million voters go out by Oct. 21 and are due back by drop box by 8 p.m. Nov. 8, or by mail with a postmark of Nov. 8.

WA Elections Division reaching out to 140k potential voters ?>

WA Elections Division reaching out to 140k potential voters

Washington’s state Elections Division is sending out postcards to 140,000 state residents who appear eligible to vote, but haven’t yet registered.

Many of the cards will go to new 18 year olds and to millennials between 19 and 35. The mailings will have a catchy, humorous graphic and information on how to quickly register online by Oct. 10. About 21,000 will go to 18 year olds and 72,000 to those 19-35.

Eligible but unregistered 18 year olds will receive this postcard:

18-yr-old postcard

Half of eligible but unregistered 19-35 year olds will receive this postcard:

19-35 postcard

Half of 19-35 year olds and all 36 and over will receive this postcard:

19-35&36-yr-old postcard

The Elections Division is working with researchers from Pew Charitable Trusts and will analyze the response to see which design has the higher registration rate to help improve future outreach materials.

Each postcard notes that the recipients aren’t on the voter rolls and that they are invited to register online or by mail by Oct. 10 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. 31.

Washington residents are eligible if they are at least 18, a U.S. citizen and not under custody of the Department of Corrections. (more…)

WA General Election voting kicks off this week ?>

WA General Election voting kicks off this week

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Washington’s General Election voting season gets under way in just a few days, with counties sending ballots to over 72,000 military and overseas voters around the globe.

Federal law provides extra transit time for military and overseas voters, with counties required to send out ballots 45 days before Election Day. This year, that’s Saturday, Sept. 24. A number of soldiers and others have also requested electronic versions. Still others use federal write-in ballots via the Federal Voting Assistance Program at FVAP.gov.

This year, about 49,500 of the early ballots are going out to military voters and about 22,600 to Washington voters living abroad, many on business or for missionary or Peace Corps service. The ballots can be voted right away. (Some of the FVAP ballots have already been voted and returned to counties.)

The rest of Washington’s 4.1 million voters will be mailed ballots in roughly four weeks. Many counties will begin to send out ballot packets on Oct. 19; Oct. 21 is the deadline to do so. To count, ballots must be returned by Nov. 8, either via free drop box or by mail with a postmark no later than Nov. 8.

Online and mail-in voter registration and updates will be accepted through Oct. 10.  In-person new registrations are welcome through Oct. 31.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman, the state’s chief elections officer, said Washington always makes it a special point to give military and overseas voters great service. She said living abroad as a military wife gave her a first-hand experience that has stuck with her for her whole elections career: The California ballots for her and her Army Ranger husband John once arrived the day AFTER the election.

Wyman and state Elections Director Lori Augino have worked closely with the Federal Voting Assistance Program, Council of State Governments, Election Assistance Commission and other national groups on registration and voter services on the Washington military bases and abroad.

Says Augino:

“Washington has the third largest number of military and overseas voters in the country, so it’s a huge priority for us. We put out the red carpet.”

 

WA voters: 4 million strong! ?>

WA voters: 4 million strong!

 

4millionstrong

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

vote flag

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!

wymanstrong

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

2015-elections-postcard

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!

2015-election

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

GeneralElectionMap2014

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

2014-ERIC-postcard

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…)