New Washington Voter Pamphlet Guides to be Mailed Soon.
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Secretary of State Sam Reed today announced that the 2008 State Primary Voters' Pamphlet, Washington's most complete elections guide, soon will arrive in mailboxes across the state.
"The Voters' Pamphlet is a useful and valuable tool for our state's voters as they get ready to take part in the state's first-ever Top 2 Primary," Reed said. "This year, 37 of Washington's 39 counties are voting entirely by mail. The Voters' Pamphlet helps people to make an informed choice as they mark their ballots."
The Office of Secretary of State is publishing 43 zoned editions of the Voters' Pamphlet, which will be delivered to more than 3 million households statewide.
There is a small chance that some voters in Clark County and parts of Eastern Washington will receive their Voters' Pamphlet on Saturday. Most voters will receive the Voters' Pamphlet next week.
In an effort to inform all citizens of the August 19 Primary, the Voters' Pamphlet will be published in English, as well as Spanish and Chinese for various locations throughout the state. Other editions published include braille, audio and large print. They range from 48 to 168 pages, and are the first state Voters' Pamphlets to include all candidates' biographical information in addition to statements.
Several counties are combining their local Voters' Pamphlet with the state for the Primary: Clark, Franklin, King, Skamania, Snohomish, Stevens and Whatcom.
County elections departments throughout the state received bulk shipments of the pamphlet in time to include with ballots going out to overseas and military ballots, which had to be mailed no later than July 20. They will mail absentee ballots to Washington residents by August 1. This year's Primary takes place on August 19.
Washington has approximately 3.4 million active voters.
This is the first time that the Office of Secretary State has published a primary pamphlet authorized by the state Legislature. The pamphlet is a tool to educate voters about the new Top 2 Primary and the choices they have for important state and local offices.
"We think you will like this easy, clear way of voting for your favorite candidate. It's as simple as this: You get to choose your favorite candidate for each office on the ballot, without regard to political preference. You are no longer restricted by the old ‘pick-a-party' system," wrote Reed in his introduction to the Primary Voters' Pamphlet.
The Top 2 Primary allows voters to choose among all candidates running for each office. Voters do not have to declare a party affiliation or select one party's ballot to vote in the primary. The purpose of the Top 2 Primary is to winnow the number of candidates for each race down to two. The top two vote-getters for each office will advance to the November General Election.