Local celebrities offer election information

October 23, 2012

King County Elections turned to a lineup of boldface names — Olympic swimmer Nathan Adrian, mystery writer J.A. Jance and sports announcer Kevin Calabro — to share important tips for voters as the Election Day ballot deadline approaches.

Adrian, Jance and Calabro joined a regional voter education campaign featuring radio, TV and online ads to educate residents about the voting process. See the spots at the elections office website, www.kingcounty.gov/elections/news/psa/2012.

Sponsored by elections departments from King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and the Office of the Secretary of State, the ads remind voters to sign return ballot envelopes and get ballots back on time.

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Voter turnout is forecast at 81 percent, less than 2008 record

October 18, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. Oct. 18, 2012

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed on Thursday predicted 81 percent voter turnout, a robust response to the races for president and governor, but less than the record set in 2008.

Washington is home to 3,880,859 registered voters. State elections officials said 149,202 people registered or reactivated a registration since the August primary.

The historic average turnout in a presidential and gubernatorial year since 1952 is 79.2 percent. Reed does not expect the turnout — or ballot return, in the case of all-mail voting — to match or exceed the record level 84.6 percent in 2008.

In King County, officials started mailing 1.16 million ballots to voters Wednesday. The deadline to postmark or return ballots is Nov. 6.

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Top elections official predicts strong voter participation

October 17, 2012

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Oct. 17, 2012

The top elections official in Washington, Secretary of State Sam Reed, predicted strong voter participation in the Nov. 6 election, as counties started mailing ballots to voters Wednesday.

Statewide, county-level elections administrators sent more than 3.85 million ballots to registered voters. King County Elections is due to mail 1.16 million ballots.

Reed said intense interest in the contests for president and governor — plus ballot measures and other statewide races — should lead to strong voter participation.

“The presidential/gubernatorial election year always has the best turnout, and this year really has something for everyone,” he said in a statement. “We have a presidential race that is essentially tied at the national level and an open governor’s race that is very close and hotly contested.”

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King County Elections mails 1.16 million ballots to voters

October 17, 2012

NEW — 9:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 2012

King County Elections plans to mail more than 1.16 million ballots to voters Wednesday as all-mail voting starts in federal, state and local contests.

The election marks the first presidential contest since King County started conducting all-mail elections and since Washington transitioned to a vote-by-mail state.

“Voters should watch for their ballots in the mail and contact us if they haven’t received it by Monday, Oct. 22,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement. “We anticipate a high turnout, and we encourage all voters to get their ballots voted and returned no later than the Election Day deadline — the earlier, the better.”

King County voters should also start receiving voters’ pamphlets in the mail in the coming days. Voters receive a local pamphlet from the county and a state pamphlet from the Office of the Secretary of State.

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Voter registration deadlines approach

September 25, 2012

In the march to Election Day, local and state elections officials encourage residents to register to vote — by mail, online or, in a recent development, on Facebook.

Oct. 6 is the deadline for mail-in registration and updates. Oct. 8 is the deadline for online registration and updates.

Facebook users can like the Secretary of State’s MyVote app in order to register to vote.

More information about registration — by mail or online — is available at the King County Elections registration website, www.kingcounty.gov/elections/registration.

In order to register as a Washington voter, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a Washington resident, at least 18 by Election Day and not under the authority of the state Department of Corrections.

In Washington, voters do not register by political party or declare political party membership to vote.

Turnout in primary election fails to meet expectations

August 28, 2012

King County turnout in the Aug. 7 primary hit 40 percent, but statewide turnout failed to meet a pre-election forecast.

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Turnout in primary election fails to meet expectations

August 22, 2012

NEW — 1 p.m. Aug. 22, 2012

King County turnout in the Aug. 7 primary hit 40 percent, local elections officials reported Tuesday, as statewide turnout failed to meet a pre-election forecast.

In King County, voters returned 443,523 ballots and officials tallied 432,049 ballots. The difference is due to signature problems and ballots returned too late to be counted. Officials certified the election results Tuesday.

“We just certified our 12th consecutive election without discrepancies,” Elections Director Sherril Huff said in a statement.

Local elections administrators noted a reduction in the number of challenged signatures of almost 45 percent. Officials attributed the shift to a celebrity-studded outreach campaign to remind voters to carefully follow ballot instructions.

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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.

Election includes ‘lots of great races’ for voters to decide

August 4, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 4, 2012

The top elections official in Washington, Secretary of State Sam Reed, urged strong turnout in the upcoming primary election.

Ballots must be postmarked or slipped into a designated ballot drop box by Tuesday.

The summer primary — bumped up 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.

In the Issaquah area, voters must select the top candidates for state House of Representatives and U.S. House of Representatives seats, in addition to selecting hopefuls for judicial and statewide posts.

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Voter education emphasized as deadline approaches

July 31, 2012

Elections administrators used the last days before the Aug. 7 primary to remind voters to follow proper ballot instructions.

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