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Eye On Olympia

From the rules for the state’s Top Two primary, coming to a ballot near you on Aug. 19…

Thanks to I-872 several years ago and a recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, Washingtonians are about to vote in a new pick-no-party primary this summer. The top two vote-getters for an office — regardless of party — will face off on the November ballot.

The ballot (or polling place) will be marked with a note saying:

“Washington has a new primary. You do not have to pick a party. In each race, you may vote for any candidate listed…”

Each candidate will get a chance to list a “party preference” and the ballot, like this:

-Chris Gregoire (Prefers Democratic Party)

But as I’ve written before, candidates are free to put whatever they want in between “prefers” and “party,” so long as it’s 16 characters or less and isn’t obscene.

“If the name of the political party provided by the candidate would be considered obscene, the filing officer may petition the superior court” to have it edited, the rules say, or replaced with “states no party preference.”


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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