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Elections

WTBBL Makes the Voters’ Pamphlet Accessible

WTBBL Makes the Voters’ Pamphlet Accessible

In preparation for the General Election on November 5, the Audio Book Production Department at Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) recorded the statewide voters’ pamphlet. Every voter deserves the right to learn more about the candidates and issues before Washingtonians this election, and for those who can’t read the print edition of the voters’ pamphlet, the audio version makes it possible. Narrators Rachel Glass and Gregg Porter spent over 53 hours recording the text, and editing required an…

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February special election ballots have been sent to 1.6 million voters

February special election ballots have been sent to 1.6 million voters

Although not all of Washington’s voters reside in a district that’s having a local election in this cycle, 32 of Washington’s 39 counties are conducting elections for local districts, such as school bond issues. Check our MyVote site to find out if you’re among the nearly 40 percent of registered Washingtonians who will receive a ballot for this election, the first of four scheduled for 2019. All ballots were mailed by Jan. 25, and the deadline to return them via…

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How the 1970 election set Washington’s midterm turnout record

How the 1970 election set Washington’s midterm turnout record

The county-certified election returns for the 2018 General Election came very near setting a new state record for voter participation in a non-Presidential election cycle. Of the 4,362,454 people on Washington’s voter rolls, 71.83 percent cast ballots, which was just under the 71.85 percent turnout for the 1970 midterm General Election. Had just 1,101 more Washingtonians voted, that 48-year-old record would have been eclipsed. That the 1970 turnout stands as the state’s high-water mark is noteworthy in several regards. First, the record…

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How Washington recounts ensure every vote matters

How Washington recounts ensure every vote matters

As 2018’s closely-watched General Election draws near, it may prove useful to read up about how recounts help ensure fair and secure elections for Washington’s candidates and voters. Nearly a decade ago in this space, we were prompted by a handful of very close election outcomes to summarize the basics of the process, which is also described on our Elections page here. Under state law RCW 29A.64.021, recounts are required in elections in which an apparent winner’s margin of victory…

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Washington sets a record with National Voter Registration Day 2018

Washington sets a record with National Voter Registration Day 2018

Since 2012, elections officials across America have made National Voter Registration Day an annual focal point of public-awareness campaigns to get more eligible citizens to register to vote. In Washington, as in other states, the effort has concentrated largely on getting young adults to sign up as registered voters. This demographic is targeted for two key reasons: First, the U.S. Census Bureau regularly finds that young people who are eligible to vote are registered at much lower rates than citizens in older…

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Washington’s top-two primary: What it is and how it works

Washington’s top-two primary: What it is and how it works

Voting has begun for Washington’s 2018 Primary Election, for which ballots can be submitted in county drop boxes or via postage-paid U.S. Mail until Election Day, August 7. This year, Primary’s ballots include groups of candidates vying to collect enough votes to make the General Election, for which ballots are due Nov. 6. Across America, states use a variety of systems to winnow down fields of candidates to finalists, as the National Conference of State Legislatures describes here. In 2004,…

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Online voter registration reaches new heights

Online voter registration reaches new heights

A decade after Washington became the second state in the country to take voter registration online, 35 states and the District of Columbia (that other Washington, as some know it) have followed suit. Under current law, the deadline for online voter registration is 30 days before Election Day, so the deadline for registering to vote in the August Primary Election passed this week, on July 9th. Thanks to the excellent work by our Elections Division, thousands of Washingtonians registered to vote…

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Video voters’ guide now available

Video voters’ guide now available

In partnership with TVW, the Office of Secretary of State is proud to present a new Video Voters Guide to help voters make informed decisions in the 2018 Primary and General Elections. At the Video Voters Guide, which the Yakima Herald-Republic calls “must-see TV for (the) 2018 election,” viewers can watch unedited candidate statements for the four statewide races on this year’s ballots — three Washington state Supreme Court justice positions and a seat in the United States Senate. Twenty…

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Student Voter registration challenge 2018

Student Voter registration challenge 2018

To encourage as many young adults as possible to make their voices heard in the 2018 General Election, Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Gov. Jay Inslee have launched a special Student Voter Registration Challenge to sign up Washington’s college students as new voters. As Gov. Inslee’s office describes here, the Student Voter Registration Challenge is a competition open to students at all 40 of Washington’s public universities, community colleges, and technical colleges. Student teams must register by Aug. 1 to…

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Paid petition signature gathering in Washington: What’s legal and why

Paid petition signature gathering in Washington: What’s legal and why

A recent news report in the Everett Herald noted that June is a prime petition-gathering month for four statewide initiatives now in circulation. According to the story, workers collecting signatures to put a referendum on Seattle’s new job tax on the November ballot are being paid $6 per signature, and anyone who gets 75 or more signatures a day gets an entry in a drawing for a four-country trip to Europe. “Too good to be true? Or legal? Maybe,” the…

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