Primary election news and notes | Secretary of State

If you think that the primary election is coming earlier than normal, you’re right. Starting in 2012, our primary election is taking place on the first Tuesday in August – this year it’s Aug. 7. For the past few years, it had been held on the third Tuesday in August.

There are other key dates related to the upcoming Primary and our initiative process that are worth knowing:

  • Saturday, June 23, is the deadline to mail Primary Election ballots to military and overseas voters.  This also includes ballots issued electronically (by email).
  • Friday, July 6, is the last day to bring in petitions for Initiatives to the People with the Secretary of State. At this point, we anticipate two measures that could be submitted:  I-1185 (Tim Eyman’s initiative to preserve the requirement that two-thirds of the members in each legislative chamber vote “yes” to raise taxes or fees) and I-1240 (authorizing the creation of charter schools in Washington).
  • Monday, July 9, is the deadline to register to vote for the Primary if you haven’t registered yet. This is the deadline for online and mail-in registrations, and voter registration updates.
  • Friday, July 20, is the last day for counties to mail Primary Election ballots to all other voters.
  • Monday, July 30, is the deadline for in-person voter registration at the county elections office for people not already registered in Washington state.


Go here to view the Elections calendar for 2012.


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