Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 57° Clear

Secretary of State

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Kim Wyman (R) 1,521,843 54.64%
Tina Podlodowski (D) 1,263,130 45.36%

* 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.

About The 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.

The Candidates

Kim Wyman

Party:
Republican
Age:
58
City:
Snohomish, Washington

Education: Graduated from Lakewood High School in 1980. Received her bachelor's degree in communicative disorders in 1985 from California State University. Received her master's degree in public administration from Troy State University in 1990.

Political experience: Elected secretary of state in 2012 and 2016; served as Thurston County auditor 2001-2013;

Work experience: Former Thurston County elections manager and assistant records manager; former U.S. Army civilian training specialist; serves on board of several nonprofit organizations.

Family: Married to John Wyman. Has two children.

 

Tina Podlodowski

Party:
Democratic
Age:
60
City:
Seattle, WA

Age: 56

Education: Earned bachelor’s degree from University of Hartford

Political experience: Served one term on Seattle City Council in early 1990s; former adviser to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Work experience: Former director and senior manager at Microsoft; senior vice president at Porter Novelli; co-founder of Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

Family: Married; has three children

Complete Coverage

Washington Democrats opt for new leader

Tina Podlodowski has been elected the next chair of Washington’s Democratic Party, ousting an incumbent who had been criticized by some in the party for what was seen as lackluster results last November.

Wyman pushing for earlier Washington presidential primary

Secretary of State Kim Wyman is again asking lawmakers to move Washington’s presidential primary from May to March. Wyman said Tuesday she is seeking the earlier date so the state can be more relevant in helping choose presidential nominees.

Kim Wyman to pay $10,000 over campaign finance violations

Secretary of state fined more than $10,000 for failing to report campaign contributions on time.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman re-elected

Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman has been re-elected to a second term.

Wyman defends meeting with DC lobbying groups

Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman on Friday defended her closed-door meetings with lobbying groups earlier this year after a report was published about her attendance, and she dismissed criticism from her Democratic opponent that she was susceptible to special interest influence on Washington state’s ballot initiative process.

More letters being sent about voter pamphlet translation

After state Democrats threatened to sue, Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Monday that she’ll send an additional 136,000 letters to voters in response to an inexact translation in voter pamphlets that could have led some to think they were not qualified to vote.

Democrats threaten to sue Washington secretary of state

State Democrats are threatening to sue Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, saying that her decision to send clarification letters to hundreds of voters in response to an inexact translation in voter pamphlets is not enough.

Trump claims of rigged election denounced by WA and ID officials

Trump claims of a rigged election called irresponsible in Washington and next to impossible in Idaho

Washington Secretary of State Wyman says Trump’s claim of rigged election is ludicrous

Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman says that Donald Trump’s claim that the upcoming presidential is rigged is ludicrous.

Wyman for secretary of state

Wyman has received a raft of endorsements from election directors and county auditors from both parties. This bipartisan support from those who know the job best is a powerful testimonial to her reputation.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman accused of campaign finance violations

Attorney General Bob Ferguson says that the campaign of Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman has violated the state’s campaign finance laws by failing to file disclosure reports on time.

Washington secretary of state calls for federal-level IDs to protect votes

Washington election officials couldn’t immediately verify that the suspect in last week’s deadly mall shooting is a U.S. citizen, although he has voted in three elections since 2014.

Citizen check proposed for Washington voter registration

Legislation requiring Washington state residents to prove U.S. citizenship or legal residency to get state driver’s licenses so elections officials can ensure non-citizens are not trying to register to vote was proposed Friday by Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

Kim Wyman, the only Republican in statewide office in Washington, works to hold off challenge from Tina Podlodowski

OLYMPIA – Republicans have overseen Washington state elections for more than 50 years despite Democrats dominating most other statewide offices. Secretary of State Kim Wyman is the lone statewide elected Republican for Washington state and the entire continental West Coast.

Sunday Spin 2: One other debate note

A bullet dodged with the open mic.

Spin Control: Who won Wednesday’s secretary of state debate? Beats me

The last person to tell you who won a political debate is the moderator.

Who won the Wyman-Podlodowski debate? I don’t know

The last person to tell you who won a political debate is the moderator.

Secretary of State candidates tangle in debate

Candidates for Secretary of State usually don’t garner much attention, but this year two candidates are locked in a tight race for the seat and aren’t pulling punches.

Governor, secretary of state debates in Spokane Wednesday

Governor, secretary of state debates come to Spokane Wednesday.

Editorial: Grant greater primary participation

Voters crave participation in presidential primaries, but if the parties won’t give in and make it more meaningful, they they should pick up the entire cost of selecting their nominees