OLYMPIA... With the August 17 Primary Election, Secretary of State Sam Reed is reminding Washington voters to take part in the Primary by filling out and returning their ballots.
"This year's Primary features many important races, including a U.S. Senate seat, congressional, legislative and judicial races, plus many county and local contests," said Reed, the state's chief elections officer. "If you want your voice heard, fill out your ballot and turn it in by Election Night."
While many Washingtonians already have filled out and returned their ballots, Reed said, a large percentage of voters either forget or put it off until the last minute.
"When you consider how easy and convenient it is to vote nowadays, I'd hate for anyone to miss out on participating in the Primary because they forgot," said Reed, who predicts a 38 percent statewide voter turnout for this month's election.
Reed reminds last-day voters that they can drop off their ballots at their county's elections office or at a drop box provided by that office. Ballots have to be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Night.
Voters who choose to mail in their ballots need their ballot envelopes to be postmarked by Election Day.
"Just because you drop off your ballot envelope at a post office on Election Night, that doesn't mean the post office will postmark it for August 17," Reed pointed out. "If it isn't postmarked by August 17, that ballot won't be counted for the Primary. So if you're going to mail in your ballot, make sure it gets to the post office in time to be postmarked by Election Day."
Go here to visit a county Web site to get more information about the Primary Election and candidates listed on the ballot. Click here to see a list of candidates who have filed with the Office of Secretary of State.
Reed reminds voters to study all of the voter information available to them, including local voters' pamphlets in some areas, My Vote and online voters' guides such as the one provided by the state Elections Division to learn more about the candidates and the issues before filling out their ballot.
To access My Vote and the Elections Division's online voters' guide, visit vote.wa.gov and click on the "My Vote" icon and the 2010 Primary Online Voters' Guide link.
The August 17 Primary will again feature the Top 2 system that was first used in 2008 after Washington voters approved it in 2004 and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it in March 2008.