News coverage of candidates, ballot issues, and election results in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

Elected officials all over the U.S. are asking questions about the security of America’s elections system. More than 20 states, including Washington, have confirmed outside attempts to get access to their electoral information.

In Spokane County, the top elections official says her office is working with the state to make sure the local system is as protected as it can be.


A Washington House committee voted Tuesday to allow the state to move its presidential primary from May to the second Tuesday in March.

The goal is increase the state’s clout with candidates before a frontrunner collects enough delegates to secure his or her party’s nomination.

Spokane County

This year the Washington legislature approved a bill that requires counties to place more ballot drop boxes in rural areas, but it didn’t allocate money to cover their costs.

Now a western Washington county is getting ready to take the state to court to require it to pay the expenses of complying with the new state mandate.

The Everett Herald reports Snohomish County expects to spend $250,000 next year to install and operate 19 new ballot boxes. The new state law requires at least one drop box for every 15,000 registered voters and at least one box in each city, town, and census-designated area with a post office.

The irony is the bill was sponsored by Snohomish County Sen. Kirk Pearson, who has since left the legislature to take a job with the Trump administration.

Inland Journal, July 20, 2017

Jul 20, 2017

▪    Washington’s primary election is August 1. Three Spokane city council seats are open this year. We’ll talk with candidates Kathryn Alexander, Kate Burke and Candace Mumm.
    ▪    The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld Governor Butch Otter’s veto of a repeal of the state grocery tax. We’ll talk about it with University of Idaho Law Professor Katherine Macfarlane.

USA Today

Every piece of legislation considered by a body of elected officials has some kind of back story. Sometimes a bill is sparked by an idea from a constituent. That was the case with one bill (Senate Bill 5472) now waiting for Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s signature. It started with an innocuous question about election drop boxes.