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Posts tagged as “elections”


One of the peculiarities of Idaho elections, ever since three decades ago primary elections were moved from late summer to late May, is that nearly half the time, primary elections were held the day after Memorial Day. Just when people are most focused on such things as candidates, government and issues. And inclined to undertake another chore, like going to the polls and voting (Idaho being the one northwest state still not moving to mail-in voting, which would make this discussion superfluous).

The Memorial Day part of this, at least, is coming to an end. One of the last two or three bills signed into law after this year's Idaho legislative session consolidates a number of local elections and moves that May primary date to the third, rather than fourth, Tuesday in the month. Which seems like a logical shift.

And Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review points out that "this year is the last that Idaho will hold elections the day after Memorial Day. That’s because next year there are five Mondays in May – Memorial Day falls on the last Monday, while the Idaho primary election will fall on the fourth Tuesday."

Now all they need is mail-in . . . eventually . . .

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.