To many Washington residents, it’s just another week of waiting for summer. But to a select few, it represents the first step toward a life of public service. Candidate Filing Week in Washington state begins Monday, May 15.
“These local races, from city councils to schools and ports, are extremely important to communities and their citizens,” said state Elections Division Director Lori Augino. “If you’re a citizen who wants to make a difference and run for elected office, your first key step is filing for office.”
In an off-year election with no congressional or statewide races on the ballot, nearly all of the 3,100-plus offices open for this election are local – such as city council, school district, fire district, port district and other races, including Seattle mayor. There also are eight special legislative races, two Court of Appeals elections in King County, and one Superior Court race in both Spokane and Yakima counties.
“It might be considered an ‘off-year’ election, however these elections can impact people as much as a big presidential election year, if not more. There are so many local races that affect communities, large and small, across Washington,” Augino added. “In preparation, the Elections Division has created some excellent voter education materials, including print and online voters’ guides.”
Depending on the office sought, candidates will file in person or online either with the Secretary of State’s office or with their county auditor/elections department. Filing by mail, a seldom-used option, began on May 1.
Candidates may file online 24 hours a day, starting May 15, 9 a.m. through May 19, 4 p.m. Check with individual County Auditors for online filing availability. In-person, faxed or e-mailed filings will be handled during normal office hours during Candidate Filing Week.
Filings by mail will also be accepted through May 19. Applicable filing fees can be found on the Secretary of State’s election website and must accompany any candidate filing.
Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including state elections, corporations and charities, the State Archives, the State Library, as well as documenting extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington. The office also oversees use of the state flag and state seal.