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The outlier

When it comes to voting in Washington state, the peculiar county is not oft-maligned King, but rather Pierce County – the only one of 39 where voting at physical polls can still be done. (Mail voting is optional.) All others vote, as Oregon does, by mail.

The Washington House has now passed – on a close vote, 54-43 – House Bill 1572, which would convert Washington to an all-mail-vote state, and do two other things: “Changes precinct sizes to not more than 2,000 active registered voters effective 2012. Allows the appointment of four precinct committee officers in precincts that have 2,000 or more active registered voters.”

The Pierce County delegation was split, by the way. And the Tacoma News Tribune has an amusing sidelight: “George Walk, Pierce County lobbyist, told me that earlier this session he had to testify both for and against the bill when it was in committee. County Executive Pat McCarthy was in favor of all-mail voting (she’s the former election chief for the county) but the County Council was against it.”

It’s in the Senate Government Operations & Elections Committee now, awaiting action there.

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