OLYMPIA – As Washington’s third running of the Top 2 Primary gets under way in just a few days, Secretary of State Sam Reed notes that the state Elections Division, in partnership with the County Auditors and TVW television, is providing a significant amount of information for Washington voters.
The state’s budget crunch doesn’t allow publication of a state Voters’ Pamphlet for the primary, but there is plenty of good, solid, unfiltered information for voters who want to do their homework, the state’s chief elections officer said Tuesday.
“Through our excellent `My Vote’ customized information service for individuals, our Online Voters’ Guide, our partnership with TVW’s Video Voters’ Guide, and county election websites, great information is just a mouse-click away on home or library computer,” Reed said.
“Certainly this 2010 primary is a pivotal one and I encourage all voters to bone up on the candidates and the issues, using these resources, media coverage, campaign literature, and websites, candidate forums and other opportunities to get informed.”
Although a handful of counties are producing a primary Voters’ Guide, state government typically does not publish one. Lawmakers did finance one in 2008, the first primary using the new voter-approved Top 2 system. But due budget constraints, the Legislature could not pick up the cost for this year’s primary guide. The cost would have been about $1.3 million.
A printed General Election Voters’ Pamphlet is in the works and will be mailed out in October.
A quick look at the electronic services available:
In 36 of the state’s 39 counties, voters can go to www.vote.wa.gov and click on the My Vote icon and fill in your name and birthdate. There you’ll find a variety of information, including your customized Voters’ Guide, including U.S. Senate, U.S. House, legislative and judicial contests, and local government races and propositions. You can click on each race you’ll be voting on and drill down for further information by clicking on the candidates’ names. You’ll find the candidate’s information, campaign statement and phone number, web link and email address. Three counties host their own voter information links – King, Yakima and Kitsap.
--Online Voters’ Guide.
The Secretary of State’s official online guide includes the Top 2 contests for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Legislature, and multi-county judicial races. Go to the Elections homepage, www.vote.wa.gov and click on the first item under Current Topics. Click on the materials you want to view. The online guide is available in Spanish and Chinese.
--Video Voters’ Guide.
The state Elections Division and TVW have video clips by U.S. Senate and Supreme Court candidates. You can click on www.tvw.org