Political Buzz

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Category: Voting

Aug.
16th

Primary results posted shortly after 8 p.m. Tacoma, U Place councils; school races in Tacoma, Puyallup and Bethel top the ballot

Pierce County elections staffers say they expect to post the first results for today’s primary election shortly after 8 p.m. We’ll post them here as soon as possible, followed by separate blog posts on the handful of local races that have enough candidates to require a primary. There will be a later update around 9:15 p.m.when ballots cast at five voting centers will arrive at the elections center. But those won’t add significantly to the totals tonight.

Tacoma’s open council seat tops the list with four candidates competing for two spots on the general election ballot. There are also more

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Aug.
12th

King County report says all-mail voting hasn’t increased turnout, hasn’t reduced costs. (But at least all the ballots are counted now)

The Seattle Times has a story this morning on an assessment of King County’s switch to all-mail voting.

Prior to 2009, King County used the same hybrid system as Pierce – liberal vote-by-mail rules but the retention of precinct voting for those who preferred to vote in person. The rationale for changing to all-mail was that it would increase voter turnout and eliminate the expense of opening and staffing the polls.

But the county council report, based on somewhat limited comparisons, says neither has happened.

“It is interesting to note that voting by mail appears to have made no

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July
13th

Monday is last day to register for Washington state’s August Primary (such as it is)

The Secretary of State’s office is spreading the word that Monday, July 18 is the last day to register on line or by mail for the August 16 primary election.

Not that the primary ballot is riddled with contested races but if you plan to register for the general election anyway why not use the primary to get used to the new all-mail balloting in Washington.

Here’s a link to the SOS’s on-line registration page.

If you are a procrastinator, there is still a chance to register in person at your county auditors office if you do so before

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April
5th

Two views by Secretary of State Sam Reed on vote by mail, 10 years apart.

Here’s what then-Thurston County auditor Sam Reed said about vote by mail and poll voting when he was a candidate for Secretary of State in 2000:

“I do think that many people want the ceremony, the interaction, the flags, the election board workers, and such, in order to feel like they are truly participating in our American political system,” Reed wrote. “We need to continue to provide that ‘election day fix’ for those people.

“But as times change and our American society changes, the way we shop, the way we bank, the way we telecommunicate, and the way we vote

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Feb.
8th

Voting deadline today – election results here tonight

Reminder to get your ballots in today for the special election in Pierce County. It’s a mail-only election, so to be counted, the ballot will need to be postmarked today or taken to a designated drop-off location by 8 p.m.

As of yesterday, Pierce County elections had received 104,772 ballots, or 28 percent of those mailed.

The elections office expects to report the first returns at 8:15 and a second batch at 9:15 p.m. We’ll post the results on Political Buzz and the homepage as soon as we get them.

Here’s a rundown on what’s on the ballot and

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Jan.
6th

Puyallup Sen. Jim Kastama says he’ll introduce resolution to not seat fellow Democrat Nick Harper due to Moxie Media scandal

This clearly is not going to make Sen. Jim Kastama popular with his Democratic leaders. But the Puyallup lawmaker said he will introduce a resolution before newly elected Sen. Nick Harper is sworn in Monday to deny him his seat.

Kastama said he believes improper and illegal actions by a Seattle political consultant changed the results of a primary election that saw Harper defeat incumbent Democrat Jean Berkey.

“I cannot in good conscience vote to seat a senator whose election was altered by an illegal action,” Kastama said. “The documents I have seen, including signed affidavits, show there is no doubt that Moxie Media’s actions were illegal and that they were responsible for changing the outcome of the election.

“These actions shifted a sure primary election victory from Sen. Jean Berkey to a razor-thin victory for Rod Rieger, a candidate whose support and campaign efforts were largely nonexistent.”

Moxie Media and its co-owner Lisa Collins MacLean have been sued in civil court by state Attorney General Rob McKenna for four violations of campaign finance disclosure law. They arose out of her efforts to defeat Berkey on behalf of a coalition of labor and trial lawyers groups.

A state Public Disclosure Commission investigation found that MacLean purposefully delayed disclosure and created multiple layers of political action committees to make sure the source of money for the campaign was not made public until after the election.

Part of the effort to defeat Berkey, deemed not liberal enough by the interest groups, was to run a shadow campaign for conservative candidate Rieger, thus denying Berkey votes from both the left and the right. She ended up finishing third in the top-two primary and Harper went on to win the general election. Read more »

Nov.
2nd

Pierce County turnout beating previous elections

As expected, voter turnout looks to be healthy in this election, judging by the percentage of ballots returned as of Monday. In Pierce County, 42.4 percent of mail ballots had been received as of yesterday. That compares favorably to the previous mid-term elections 2006 (35.65 percent) and 2002 (33.13 percent). It is still far behind presidential year elections of 2004 (93.03 percent) and 2008 (84.98 percent).

Statewide, Secretary of State Sam Reed is sticking with his prediction of a 66 percent turnout – the best mid-term turnout in decades. Here’s the ballot return rate in major counties as of

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Sep.
8th

Legislative candidate forums to focus on issues for seniors and people with disabilities

Candidates for several area legislative seats will answer questions about care and services for the aging and individuals with disabilities during simultaneous forums in Pierce County Sept. 18.

The events are sponsored by the Pierce County Aging and Longterm Care Advisory Board in cooperation with several community partners, according to a news release.

Three forums are set from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 18. All candidates running for seats in the 2nd, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 31st legislative districts have been invited to participate, the news release said.

Here are the details. You’ll find the list of candidates running for each seat below.

• Districts 2, 25 and 31: Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 10510 136th St. E., Puyallup.
• Districts 26 and 27: TACID, 6315 S. 19th St., Tacoma.
• Districts 28 and 29: Lakewood Senior Activity Center, 9112 Lakewood Blvd.

Questions will be asked on topics such as Medicaid coverage, respite care and transportation, the news release said. Audience members will have a chance to ask questions, too.

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