Tom Douglas, Rick Steves join forces to remind voters to return ballots

July 19, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. July 19, 2012

Local elections administrators enlisted renowned chef Tom Douglas, travel guru Rick Steves, Seattle Storm players and other local celebrities to remind voters to follow ballot instructions.

The elections departments in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, plus the Office of the Secretary of State, collaborated on the voter education project. The effort is meant to inform voters about the voting process. The celebrities involved in the campaign donated their time for the effort.

The campaign includes radio, TV and online advertisements to remind voters to sign return ballot envelopes, return ballots back on time and follow other important instructions. The deadline to return primary election ballots is Aug. 7.

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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

Former legislator receives Democrats’ endorsement for secretary of state

June 5, 2012

Kathleen Drew, a onetime Issaquah state senator and former aide to Gov. Chris Gregoire, received state Democrats’ endorsement in the race to succeed retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Drew received the nod at the state party convention June 2 after outpolling former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Puyallup state Sen. Jim Kastama among party activists.

Though the candidates all appear on the August primary ballot, only Drew earned the party’s nod.

In the secretary of state race, Republicans closed ranks behind Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman.

Voters pick the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, Aug. 7 in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

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

Drew served as a representative for Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the mid-1990s.

In the Legislature, she crafted a tough ethics law for public employees and led the effort to protect the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery from budget cuts.

Kathleen Drew, former Issaquah legislator, receives Democrats’ endorsement for secretary of state

June 3, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. June 3, 2012

Kathleen Drew, a onetime Issaquah state senator and a former aide to Gov. Chris Gregoire, received state Democrats’ endorsement in the race to succeed Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Drew received the nod at the state party convention June 2 after outpolling former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Puyallup state Sen. Jim Kastama among party activists. Though the candidates all appear on the August primary ballot, only Drew earned the party’s nod.

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

The incumbent secretary of state, Reed, is a Republican and plans to retire.

Drew served as a representative for Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the mid-1990s.

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Campaign season starts as candidates file for election

May 22, 2012

The ballot voters receive in the mailbox by late July is all but certain to contain some familiar names, as elected officials campaign for higher offices and other candidates try another run for elected office.

The period for candidates to enter races up for election on the August and November ballots ended May 18 in a buzz of activity.

Local voters face choices in countywide, legislative, statewide and federal offices.

Voters pick the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, Aug. 7 in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients then advance to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.

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Nominate outstanding citizens for state’s highest honors

May 15, 2012

Secretary of State Sam Reed is accepting nominations for the Medal of Valor and Medal of Merit, the highest honors presented by the people of Washington.

Last awarded in 2007, the Medal of Valor recognizes individuals for risking personal safety to save, or attempt to save, another person’s life. (The medal cannot be awarded to police officers, firefighters or other first responders for on-duty actions.)

Last awarded in 2009, the Medal of Merit is given for exceptional conduct in providing outstanding services to citizens. Learn about the application process at www.sos.wa.gov/medals. Mail nominations to Office of the Secretary of State, Medal of Valor Program, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220. The deadline is Aug. 12.

Supreme Court upholds state redistricting plan

May 8, 2012

The state Supreme Court has authorized use of the redrawn political boundaries for upcoming elections, even as a citizen challenge to the Washington State Redistricting Commission’s maps continues to proceed.

The bipartisan commission responsible for reshaping the districts spent 2011 redrawing legislative and congressional districts. State legislators then made minor modifications and the plan entered into effect Feb. 7.

Vancouver resident John Milem filed a challenge against the redistricting plan Feb. 8. The longtime redistricting observer contended the reshaped maps granted too much power to Western Washington counties.

Commissioners divided Issaquah between the 5th and 41st legislative districts to determine representation in Olympia, and kept the city in a reshaped 8th Congressional District for federal representation.

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State seeks outstanding employees for service honor

March 27, 2012

Evergreen State leaders need help from residents to honor outstanding state employees.

The state Public Service Recognition Week Celebration Committee is asking residents and state workers to nominate public employees for the Extra Mile Award.

The honor is awarded to individuals or groups of public employees each year for surpassing expectations and providing exemplary public service. In order to receive the honor, recipients must demonstrate at least one of the following attributes: executing innovative solutions, improving efficiency, exhibiting visionary thinking, overcoming great odds or disadvantages, or demonstrating personal valor or bravery.

“Washington has many state employees who go beyond the call of duty in performing their jobs,” said Secretary of State Sam Reed, chairman of the Public Service Recognition Week Celebration Committee. “This is an excellent opportunity to honor exceptional state employees for the service they provide”

The application is available at the Office of the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.wa.gov/psrw. Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. March 30.

Mail nomination forms to The Productivity Board, P.O. Box 40250, Olympia, WA 98504-0250. Forms can also be faxed to 360-704-7830 or emailed to psrw@sos.wa.gov. Call 360-704-5203 to learn more.

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