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Getting the '411' on WA's Primary Election

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Friday, July 6, 2012   

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Monday, July 9, is the last day to register online to vote in the Washington state primary election on August 7. And voters who want to do some research before they cast their mail-in ballots will have to look online to find it. To save money, the state is no longer mailing out voters' pamphlets, and the League of Women Voters of Washington is stepping in to help fill the information gap. On the website Vote411.org people can enter their street addresses and read about every candidate and issue that will be on the ballot in their districts.

League co-president Linnea Hirst says compiling it all has been a major effort.

"Any ballot measure that we found on any of the county websites, we put that on. And if they did 'pros and cons,' we put that on, as well as any rebuttals they did. So, everything that they will find on their ballots is there."

In addition to the ballot measures, Hirst says, there are 265 competitive races in the August primary and another 144 offices with candidates running unopposed.

Vote411.org is a national League of Women Voters project, so voters who move to another state can use the same site to access their new ballots. And after the primary, the site will be updated for the November general election.

Hirst says Vote411.org is a good place to start for people new to Washington, or new to the voting process.

"You know, there are people new to voting who may not know that we do mail-in. And they can find out how to register, find out what candidates are on the ballot in their own districts, and what some of the positions are of those candidates."

The Secretary of State's office also has election information online. Not printing it all out and mailing it saves the state an estimated $364,000 a year.




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