Would-be candidates waiting for the last minute to file for office better check to see when the “last minute” is. Depending on where you file, it could be anywhere from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Candidates have until the close of business on Friday, the last day of filing week, to file their initial paperwork. Traditionally, that meant 5 p.m. at elections offices across the state.
If you’re taking petitions of candidacy to the secretary of state’s office – where papers are filed for statewide office or any district that crosses county lines – 5 p.m. is still the deadline.
But for offices contained in a single county and filed at that county’s elections office, it could be different.
Spokane County’s elections office closes at 4 p.m., as do offices in Ferry, Lincoln and Pend Oreille counties. Stevens County elections closes at 3:30 p.m, Adams County at 4:30 p.m. and Whitman County at 5 p.m.
That’s because many counties have tight budgets and operate on shortened hours. Elections offices don’t have to stay open late to accept candidate petitions. Candidates should check with their county elections office to see when they close Friday.
They can also file online. But the deadline for that, no matter what office being sought, is 4 p.m.