Washington’s presidential election year primary is under way, with voters in King and Pierce counties joining about 4 million others who have received ballots.
The ballot is loaded with dozens of wide-open races as voters narrow the field for each office to two top vote-getters who will advance to the fall general election. In all, 671 candidates are running for federal, statewide, legislative, county, judicial and local offices, and hundreds more are running for Democratic and Republican precinct committee officer.
Voters will have until Aug. 2 to fill out their ballots and return them via drop boxes, by postal service, or in person to the county elections office. In-person voter registration is available until July 25 for those not currently registered.
About 65,000 military and overseas ballots were mailed out by June 18, and a number have already been cast and returned to their home counties.
This time around, Evergreen State voters are choosing finalists for all nine statewide elected officials, including governor. There will be major changes in Olympia, as five of the incumbents are not seeking re-election: lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor, lands commissioner and superintendent of public instruction.
Washington also will winnow the field for U.S. Senate seat now held by Patty Murray. All 10 U.S. House seats are up this year, and most of the Legislature is on the ballot, too, including all 98 House seats and 26 of the 49 Senate positions.
In the 31st Legislative District – which takes in Enumclaw and Bonney Lake while covering portions of south King and east Pierce counties – longtime lawmaker Christopher Hurst is not seeking re-election.
Statewide ballot propositions also will be voted on in the fall election.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman urges a strong turnout for the primary. The last comparable elections, in 2012 and 2008, had a turnout that averaged 41 percent, with a general election average of double that, 82 percent.