WA Primary Ballots!
Washington State Primary Election ballots going into the mail July 15-17. That's today through Friday. In order to be counted ballots must be mailed back (postmarked) or dropped into a Ballot Drop Box by 8PM Tuesday, August 4th. Be a voter and an influencer. Do your homework early. Talk with people about the choices you've made and why you made them. Encourage discussion and participation.
Click myvote.wa.gov. There, by entering your name and birthday, you have access to the ballot you will see when it arrives in the mail, the names of your current incumbent elected officials, your own history of voting (that you voted, NOT for whom you voted), links to candidate statements, and much more.
If you, like I, find the candidate statements in the Voters' Guide rather bland and nonspecific, check out FUSE Washington's progressivevotersguide.org. I find their endorsements detailed, rational, and convincing.
If you have time to dig more deeply, you can listen to interviews with candidates pertinent to Spokane County by searching candidate names at https://www.spokanepublicradio.org/search/google#stream/0.
The League of Women Voters did Zoom interviews with many area candidates; These videos are available here: https://my.lwv.org/washington/spokane-area/article/view-videos-august-2020-primary-candidate-forums
For candidates at the state level you can determine who is funding there candidacy by visiting the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission website: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/ Navigation on that site takes some learning, but there is a lot of interesting information. For example, one can quickly see that only six of the thirty-six candidates for Washington State governor have significant financial backing: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/browse/campaign-explorer.
This is the process of democracy in our current system Ballot turn-in numbers are typically much lower in primary elections than in the November general elections. Motivated, organized primary voters might put two candidates on the November ballot both of whom are unpalatable, because much of the potential electorate sits out the primary. Don't let that happen. Do your homework, do it early. (Aside:Ranked Choice Voting in a combined election could eliminate this problem. Stay tuned next year for a chance to advance this idea.)
Look for your ballot in the mail. It you haven't received it by early next week, first check your registration and the address at which you're registered at myvote.wa.gov. If you are still puzzled, contact the Spokane County Elections Office (or your county's elections office) by email or phone. Here's the link to those numbers and emails for Spokane County: https://www.spokanecounty.org/Directory.aspx?did=10
Do your homework! And
Keep to the high ground,
Some Election Orientation (much of which I did not know until about four years ago): Other states hold their primary elections at different times. That can be confusing. Idaho held their primary May 19, a full eleven weeks before Washington's primary. (And, of course, the Presidential Primary elections and caucuses have already come and gone.)
In even numbered years like 2020 the primary (non-presidential) election offers a sometimes bewildering array of candidates for U.S. Congressional, statewide, state legislative, and county positions. (This year in Washington State, for example, we have a record thirty-five candidates running for governor against the incumbent, Governor Jay Inslee.) In Washington State elections of local officials, mayors, city council members, school board members and other are held in the odd numbered years.