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Spin Control

Posts tagged: primary election

Two-thirds of voters skipped primary

Less than one in three.

That's the final statewide turnout of voters for the Aug. 5 primary, which stands at a smidgen over 31 percent.

Spokane County did marginally better, at 35.3 percent with the final count certified this afternoon. At least it moved up over one in three.

Perhaps a more important percentage from the primary is 1 percent, the votes needed for a write-in candidate to advance to the general election when running against someone who appeared on the ballot unopposed. Spokane County has two such winners. Mary Wissink got enough votes to go up against Timothy Fitzgerald in the fall for Spokane County clerk. Ziggy Siegfried picked up enough to challenge incumbent Jeff Holy for a 6th District state House seat.

Sunday Spin: A class in primary math

The weekend after the primary seems like a good time for a lesson in primary numbers, which is offered by the Poli Sci Department, not the Math Department.

Election Math 101 teaches us that the most important number is who has the most votes. But other numbers matter, particularly in a Washington state primary, which is brought to you by the number 2 – as in the top two vote-getters go to the general election, no matter what. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Mapping the vote: County Commish race

As colleague Mike Prager reports in today's paper, Spokane County Commissioner Al French thinks he'll improve his vote totals in the fall as the election moves from his District 3 to the entire county.

French has a point that District 3 trends more Democratic than the other two counties based on the 2012 presidential election. But comparing the map of presidential vote to his run against two opponents — one Democrat and another an independent who was formerly a Democrat — and it would seem he had more than just a partisan headwind in the general.

The map above is available in more detail in the PDF file below. The other PDF file is the 2012 presidential results. Political geeks might enjoy comparing and opining whether they think French is right.

The 2012 map was made for that election. The primary map was made yesterday for the story analysis, but there wasn't room for it in the paper (It doesn't work as well small.) But there's always plenty of room on the Internet.


Clock ticking down to primary deadline

The deadline for getting a primary ballot in is 8 p.m. tonight. 

If your ballot is still sitting on your counter or coffee table, you might want to consider marking it, putting it in the envelope and taking it to a drop box, because it would have to be post-marked by tonight and that would be difficult at this point.

Where is a drop box? you ask. In Spokane County, they are at public libraries and a few other places. For a list of addresses, click here.

For information on other counties' locations, click here. 

Can't find your ballot? You can get a replacement at a Voter Service Center. For Spokane County, those centers are listed at the bottom of this page. For other counties, click here.

And if you need to check just one more thing about one of the candidates on that ballot, try the links on the post below.

We'll be blogging the election returns as they come in, shortly after 8 p.m.

Help for procrastinating voters

So you found that ballot on the counter and had one of those “Oops” moments.

As in “Oops, I meant to figure out who deserves my vote in that legislative/county/congressional race. But I forgot.”

Not too late. One of the advantages of all mail voting is you have time to do research on the elections before casting the ballot. Not much time, at this point, because ballots are due by tomorrow. (For information on deadlines click here or see below.)

But there are resources to help you make your decision.

For starters (Warning: shameless plug to follow) there's The Spokesman-Review's Primary Election Center.

There's also the state Voter Guide, which has information on congressional, legislative and local races. You can get a custom-tailored guide for races where you are registered by going to My Vote and entering your information. 

Some counties have their own version of the online Voter Guide. Here's a link to Spokane County's Voter Guide.

Still have a question about a candidate's stand on a particular issue or concern? You could call or e-mail them, although they may be out knocking on doors or waving a campaign sign on a street corner. Here's a list of the contact information they supplied when filing for office. 

Mapping the vote: Another way to look at the U.S. Senate race in Spokane

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell easily finished first in last week's state primary, and topped Republican challenger Mike Baumgartner in many Spokane County precincts, as the map below shows.

But when one considers the ABC vote — Anyone But Cantwell — she won fewer precincts, as the map above shows.

For a closer look at the map, click on the PDF version below.


Mapping the vote: 3rd District House race

Marcus Riccelli is comfortably in first place in the 3rd District House race, but three candidates are bunched up in the race for second place and a spot on the general election ballot.

As this map shows, Riccelli owes his first place standing to doing well in the western and southern precincts of the district.  Bob Apple ran strong in the northeast portions of the district, which correspond closely to his old council district. Tim Benn won a few of his precincts big, and Jon Snyder was strongest in the precincts in or near his south Spokane Council District.

For a closer look at the map, check out the PDF file.


WA Lege Day 54: Earlier primary gets Senate OK

OLYMPIA — A proposal to move the state's August primary up by two weeks, making it easier to ensure military and overseas voters get their general election ballots delivered and returned, sailed through the Senate this morning as both chambers continue churning through bills.

SB 5171 now goes to the House, which has a companion bill to do the same thing.

The problem arises with federal law that requires states to have at least 45 days between the time absentee ballots are mailed to military voters and the election. Washington state moved its primaries back from mid-September to mid-August several years ago to accommodate military and other overseas voters, but the time it takes to count ballots, settle close elections and possibly hold recounts means many counties don't  have the results of the primary available to print up the general ballots 45 days ahead of the November election.

Last year Washington got a waiver of the law because the state doesn't stop counting ballots on election day like most states.  It continues to count properly marked ballots that come in for more than two weeks, so military voters actually had more than 45 days to cast a ballot. (This fact did not keep legislators from demagoguing about protecting the voting rights of the brave men and women fighting in forward operating bases in Afghanistan so the rest of us had the right to vote, but such statements are pretty  much a given on this topic.)

With the change in dates, the state won't need to ask for a waiver. It also allows military voters overseas to vote by fax or e-mail.

Your ballot: It’s in the mail. No. Really. It is.

Ballots for the Aug. 17 Top Two primary are being dropped in the mail today and Thursday.

That explains why the number of political commercials on television and the radio are starting to increase, and campaign signs are sprouting like dandelions all over the community.

Rules are the same as always. Mark the ballot anytime between the moment you receive them and the evening of Aug. 17. Follow the directions, because some inks drive the computer scanners crazy.

Put the ballot in the double-envelope system. Sign the outer envelope. If you are mailing it in, put a stamp on it, and if it’s like Aug. 16 or 17, make sure that the box where you’re putting it has pickup before the election day so it can get postmarked in time.

Or save yourself a stamp and take it to a drop-off box. Generally speaking, they’re at public libraries, with a few other spots thrown in. A full list of locations is inside the blog.

Hey! There’s an election going on here

Clock is ticking down to the deadline for turning in ballots for primary elections all over Washington state.

Most of the primaries are for city or town councils, school or fired district boards. But there’s a hot five-way race for an open state representative seat in southeastern Washington’s 9th District, and a proposal to extend a one-tenth of one percent sales tax in Spokane County.

If you haven’t voted yet, and don’t know the vote-by-mail rules, here’s the drill:

Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, which means you’ll probably want to take it to the post office to make sure it’s done in time. Or you can deposit it in a drop box, set up in key locations around your county, or take it to a voter service center.

A list of Spokane County drop boxes is inside the blog, as well as phone numbers for other surrounding county elections offices.

And if you live in Idaho? Relax. No election on Tuesday.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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