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About this race

Kim Wyman, the incumbent Secretary of State, is the only Republican holding statewide office on the West Coast. But her job could be in danger, if results from the close August primary are an indicator. Wyman only topped her main challenger, Democrat Tina Podlodowski, by 2 percentage points.

Wyman has more-than two decades of experience in elections work and has stressed that she has spent her career working to safeguard elections. “The single most important element of my race is that Washington state needs to have elections that are fair and accurate,” she said. “We’ve had a long history of that in our state.”

Podlodowski has attacked Wyman on several issues, including the low primary voter turnout and a delay in getting an online business portal up and running. In addition to being the state’s chief elections officer, the secretary of state also serves as chief corporations officer and supervisor of the state archives and state library. Podlodowski’s campaign last month revealed that she notified state officials about the vulnerability of an online voter registration and information site that inadvertently made information such as voters’ phone numbers and emails accessible. The problem has since been fixed. Wyman’s office said there was no security breach or hack of the voter system and that Social Security and driver’s license numbers were never accessible. Wyman in a statement apologized for the error, saying her office took quick action to fix the problem after Podlodowski notified officials.

Podlodowski wants free postage for mailed ballots and same-day voter registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds ahead of their eligibility to vote at age 18. She also said she would mandate performance audits for all of the state’s 39 county election offices to assess effectiveness on many issues, including election-related costs and registrations. Podlodowski also wants more drop boxes for voters around the state.

Wyman, who previously served as the Thurston County auditor and the county’s elections director, noted that her office already reviews all the county offices at least every five years, down from reviews every three years due to funding issues. She said she will continue pushing the Legislature to fund her initiatives that have not been approved, including a statewide printed version of the voter guide.

Secretary of State, State of Washington

Candidate Votes Pct
Kim Wyman (R) 1,521,843 54.60%
Tina Podlodowski (D) 1,263,130 45.40%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

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