Filing by mail, by now a little-used option, began quietly on April 28. But the more popular methods of filing for office, in-person or online, will take place from May 12-16.
Depending on the office sought, candidates will file either with the Secretary of State’s Office on the 2nd floor of the Capitol or with their county auditor.
The Secretary’s Elections Division will receive all filings for the U.S. House, multi-county legislative districts, the state Supreme Court, and multi-county races for Court of Appeals and Superior Court. Single-county legislative and judicial races and all other offices will handled by the counties’ elections offices.
In-person, fax or emailed filings will be handled during normal office hours. Those who file by fax or email need to follow up with a hard copy by May 16. Online filings will be accepted from 9 a.m., May 12, through 4 p.m., May 16. Filings by mail will be accepted through May 16.
Filing fees are 1 percent of one year’s salary for the office. Congressional filings are $1,740; Legislature, $421.06; Supreme Court, $1,675.05; Court of Appeals, $1,594.55; and Superior Court, $1,518.09.
A petition process is available for those unable to pay the filing fee.
Lot drawings to determine ballot order will be held in the Secretary’s office at the conclusion of Filing Week.
There are 162 state offices open for filing – 66 with OSOS and 96 filed at the counties. Thousands more slots are available for precinct committee officers, all filing locally.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman and State Elections Director Lori Augino urged strong participation in this year’s filings and elections.
“Although there are no U.S. Senate or statewide executive offices on the ballot this year, there are so many important leadership positions for all of us to consider,” Wyman said. “It will soon be time for our citizens to engage – and hopefully enjoy – the political process that means so much in our democracy.
“This year’s ballot includes all 10 U.S. House races, including the wide-open 4th District, where Doc Hastings is retiring after 20 years; the entire 98-member state House and half of the 49-member state Senate; four Supreme Court seats and other judicial positions; and important local races.”
A number of judicial positions are open for the remainder of unexpired terms, including the state Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Jim Johnson. Six-year terms for three other high court seats also are up for election this year, as are 12 Court of Appeals positions; and 13 Superior Court seats.
Augino said election professionals on Wyman’s staff and around the state are fired up about the mid-term elections, and hoping for a bumper crop of good candidates.
“It all starts here, with Filing Week an important kickoff moment for candidates,” she said. “We are already hard at work on putting together some excellent voter education materials, including print and online voters’ guides.
“We look forward to working with voters with disabilities and those for whom English is not their primary language. We want all eligible voters to feel welcome to this important process of voting and helping make decisions for our communities and the state of Washington.”
Here is a 14-page guide on “How to Become a Candidate in Washington State.”
The Elections Division website has a treasure trove of information for candidates and voters, including this list of offices open for elections this year, where they file and how much the filing fee will be.