Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

State primary moving to August

I've talked to numerous people in recent weeks who have assured me that the Legislature wasn't going to do anything to move the primary up from where it is now - in mid September. The reasoning, of course, is that the Legislature has failed to do anything about the primary in years past. So why this year?

But I was sure this was the year the primary was going to be moved, and it looks like it's going to happen:
Along with backyard barbecues, camping and summer vacation, you can add voting to your August to-do list, starting next year.

After years of angst over whether to change the timing of the state's mid-September primary, one of the nation's latest, lawmakers are poised to move up the election by a month, starting in 2007.

The Senate, which has been a graveyard for the primary-moving bill in previous years, gave the August primary a surprisingly strong bipartisan sendoff, approving it 37-11 on Wednesday. The House is expected to follow suit.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, the county auditors, the military and others have long advocated moving the primary to an earlier date. They said the seven-week window between the September primary and the November general election doesn't leave enough time to count ballots, deal with any recounts or contested elections, and get out the absentee ballots for the general election.

The House has previously endorsed the move, so the bill is considered a done-deal this year. The governor supports the change.
We don't actually start voting in August until 2007. This year's primary, unfortunately, remains in September. But change is on the way. All that remains is for the House and the Governor to act.

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