Study: Washington election system is No. 2 in United States

February 8, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 8, 2013

Washington ranked No. 2 among states for election administration performance in 2010, according to a national study.

In the Elections Performance Index unveiled by the Pew Charitable Trusts on Tuesday, Washington ranked near the top after researchers examined election administration performance across all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“It’s great news that Washington is one of the very top states when it comes to the accessibility and integrity of elections and voter registration,” Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Washington’s top elections official, said in a statement. “I appreciate the hard work put into the index and how it provides an objective set of measurements to look at how we and other states are conducting elections.”

Other top-performing states include Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

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Democrats dominate Issaquah voters’ choices

January 1, 2013

Strong get-out-the vote operation boosts candidates

Democrats dominated Issaquah in the November election.

City voters chose Democrats for every federal and statewide office on the ballot — sometimes by a broad margin and others by a handful of votes.

Issaquah overwhelmingly supported Democrats in the races for president and vice president, U.S. senator and U.S. representative, and every statewide office. Only incumbent Republican Steve Litzow, a 41st Legislative District state senator representing about half of Issaquah, earned support from a majority of voters inside city limits.

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How did Issaquah vote?

January 1, 2013

City-level results from the November election show Issaquah voters followed statewide trends on some issues, or occasionally chose another direction.

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Off the Press

November 13, 2012

Campaign tests candidates’ — and voters’ — mettle

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Throughout campaign season, as the insults zinged back and forth across screens and in mailboxes, I often hoped for Election Day to arrive as soon as possible.

But now, as the election recedes into memory I feel wistful, maybe even a little nostalgic.

Though the process often degraded the candidates and, in the process, voters, I found the contenders dedicated and focused on the task at hand.

Candidates knock on thousands of doors in the run-up to Election Day, a process referred to in candidate-speak as doorbelling. The exercise tests the candidates’ mettle and offers voters a grassroots introduction to the person behind the political sign.

Besides the usual pitfalls — unfriendly dogs, voters pretending not to be home — everybody on the doorbelling circuit, state Sen. Steve Litzow told me in a pre-election interview, encountered at least one naked voter at the door.

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Ex-Issaquah legislator is locked in tight race for secretary of state

November 7, 2012

NEW — 11:55 a.m. Nov. 7, 2012

Democrat Kathleen Drew, a former Issaquah state senator, is locked in a close race for secretary of state against Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman, a Republican.

The contest to choose a successor to Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed is split 50.39 percent for Wyman against 49.61 percent for Drew in the initial results released Tuesday.

The secretary of state serves as the top elections official in Washington. The office also handles registrations for corporations and charities.

Reed plans to retire after a dozen years in the post. In 2004, he led the office through the contest between Gregoire and Dino Rossi — the closest gubernatorial race in U.S. history.

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How did Issaquah vote?

September 18, 2012

Data from the Aug. 7 primary shows how Issaquah voters decided  — and offers clues to how the local electorate might vote in the November general election.

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Local legislators earn opposite results in statewide races

August 14, 2012

Kathleen Drew and Glenn Anderson, past and present state legislators, respectively, experienced opposite political fortunes as county officials counted ballots statewide.

Drew is poised to face Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman in the race for secretary of state. Anderson fell short in the race for lieutenant governor against Republican Bill Finkbeiner, a former state senator, and incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat.

Drew, a former Issaquah resident and onetime state senator for the 5th Legislative District, secured state Democrats’ endorsement for secretary of state and outpolled other Democrats — Puyallup state Sen. Jim Kastama and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels — in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Incumbent Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, is retiring at the end of his term.

Anderson, a longtime legislator and a Fall City Republican, plans to step down from the state House of Representatives once his term ends at the end of the year.

Turnout is expected to rise for August primary

July 17, 2012

The top elections official in Washington, Secretary of State Sam Reed, predicted above-average turnout in the August primary election — 46 percent, or about 3 percent more than the last comparable election.

The summer primary — bumped up to Aug. 7 to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

Reed made the turnout prediction July 12, about a week before ballots started to reach voters.

The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

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Secretary of State Sam Reed predicts above-average turnout for August primary

July 12, 2012

NEW — 11:45 a.m. July 12, 2012

The top elections official in Washington, Secretary of State Sam Reed, predicted above-average turnout in the August primary election — 46 percent, or 3 percent more than the last comparable election.

The summer primary — bumped up to Aug. 7 to accommodate military and overseas voters — allows local voters a chance to decide a property tax measure and cull the field in federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

The electorate selects the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

“The people of Washington are pretty revved up by the campaigns and issues this year and that should result in a darned good turnout, starting with our primary election,” Reed said in a statement. “We have an extremely competitive presidential race nationally and the media, campaigns, parties and special interest groups have been flooding us with campaign coverage and voter information.”

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Governor endorses former Issaquah legislator for secretary of state

June 22, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 22, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday endorsed Kathleen Drew, a onetime Issaquah state senator and a former aide to the governor, for secretary of state.

The governor announced the endorsement of Drew, a fellow Democrat, less than a month after Drew earned the state Democrats’ endorsement in the race to succeed retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed.

“Kathleen’s experience in the Legislature and in the Governor’s Office make her well suited to be secretary of state,” Gregoire said in a statement. “She has my support and my vote.”

Other Democrats in the race for secretary of state include former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Puyallup state Sen. Jim Kastama. Though the candidates all appear on the August primary ballot, only Drew earned the party’s nod. Read more

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