Running for Office: Candidate Filing Fee

Thinking about running for office? We’re expecting more than 700 people to file for office during candidate filing week, May 13 – 17. If you’re planning to run now or in the future, remember that you’ll need to pay a filing fee. This fee is equal to 1% of the office’s annual salary at the time of filing. You can view the filing fees for all 337 positions up for election on our website. Unfortunately, filing fees are not refundable. So if a candidate withdraws, they don’t get their money back. And if they withdraw and re-file for a different position, they’ll be required to pay a second filing fee for the new position.

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Applications now open for 2019-2020 Voter Education Fund

We’re now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 Voter Education Fund! King County Elections and Seattle Foundation are awarding $950,000 in grants to increase voter engagement in underserved communities over the next two years.

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2018 Voter Education Fund partners.

 

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Here’s how to Run for Office in King County

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Running for office can be a daunting, even intimidating process. There are so many questions a first-time candidate has to think about: What’s a filing fee? How long can I have campaign signs up? What are the public disclosure requirements? Fortunately, we make it easy to run for office in King County. First, everything you need to know is on our Running for Office page online. Second, you can actually file your candidacy online and avoid a trip to our office.

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February 2019 Special Election: Frequently asked questions and answers

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How do I replace my ballot or ballot envelope?

Visit our website to get a replacement ballot or envelope.

How do I find a ballot drop box?

Visit our website to find a drop box near you.

Do I need a stamp to return my ballot?

No, you no longer need a stamp to mail your ballot in King County. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Priorities

The 2019 Washington State legislative session opened this week, and we wanted to share our priorities for this session. As always, our goal is to make voting as accessible and barrier-free as possible. Here’s a look at what Director Julie Wise will be supporting in Olympia over the next three months:

State pays its fair share.

Every other jurisdiction pays their share of election costs. Currently the state only pays for election costs in odd numbered years, the opposite of when there are state races on the ballot. For King County alone, the average unfunded state election cost in these years is about $4 million. New mandates, like additional drop boxes and same day registration have only exacerbated this issue. It’s past time for the state to pay its fair share.

Signature alternatives.

With more and more digital transactions, we are seeing society shift away from the signature as a primary tool for authentication. We need new options for verifying an individual voted their correct ballot. Washington State should get ahead of this issue and be a leader in exploring signature alternatives. This could include piloting options for voters with disabilities and overseas/service voters, both communities significantly impacted by the current signature requirement.

Washington State Legislature
(Photo by Ted S. Warren/AP)

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General Election 2018: Statewide ballot measures

The November midterm election had record voter turnout in King County with 76 percent of registered voters casting a ballot. While there were many factors that drove turnout,  voters were also motivated by the four statewide measures on this year’s ballot. Millions of dollars poured into the campaigns for and against measures that would govern pollution, taxes on groceries (mainly sugary drinks), gun ownership, and police training concerning the use of deadly force. Voters were inundated with television commercials, digital ads, and mailers urging them to either approve or reject a given measure.

Statewide, voters approved all of the measures except for Initiative Measure No. 1631 concerning a fee on carbon emissions. Initiative No. 1634, which prohibits a tax on essential groceries, was the only measure rejected by King County voters. Let’s take a look at how the County’s six most-populated cities voted on each measure. Continue reading

How social media is used to reach young voters

The year was 2000 and it was the first time I was eligible to vote in a presidential election. Since I lived on a college campus four hours away from home, I requested and filled out an absentee ballot. But then I procrastinated and forgot to mail it in. Oops! I remember one particular friend being appalled. We live in a swing state, he lamented. How could you forget to mail your ballot?

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General Election 2018: Ballot drop boxes with the most returns

Ballot drop boxes continue to be a convenient option for King County voters. About 390,000 ballots were returned through drop boxes during the 2018 General Election. The Ballard Branch Library location was the most popular, with 19,034 ballots returned there.

Top Ten Returns

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Meet our translators: KC Jung

We’re highlighting the great work our translators do helping to make our elections and services accessible to every member of the community. Here we sit down for a brief Q&A with KC Jung, our Korean language translator.

KCWhat is your background and what brought you to working in local government at King County?

I am originally from Seoul, South Korea. I first came to the U.S. to study English and decided to adopt this country as my new homeland because of the diverse background of people and places. After completing my education, I started my career in local government at the City of Federal Way. As the Korean Community Liaison, I helped bridge the gap between Korean residents and the city. I was able to create and engage in many programs that benefited residents. After years of working for the city, I was ready for a bigger role, so I joined the U.S. Department of Commerce where I was able to expand my community engagement on a larger scale. In this role, I was able to not only engage with the Korean community, but also with other minority communities all over Washington State.

In my off time, I volunteer at the Puyallup School District. Once my kids were enrolled in middle and high school, I needed to dedicate more time to them. That’s when I decided to look for a local government job that continued my commitment to serve the community, which led me to King County Elections. Continue reading

Meet our translators: Nhien Huynh

We’re highlighting the great work our translators do helping to make our elections and services accessible to every member of the community. Here we sit down for a brief Q&A with Nhien Huynh, our Vietnamese language translator.

NhienWhat is your background and what brought you to working in local government at King County?
I was the Student Government Community Service Chair at South Seattle College. That experience taught me the importance of being involved and making a difference in the community. For that reason, I was attracted to working in local government. Additionally, King County was a good fit for me, because we share many of the same values, particularly those related to diversity and inclusion.

Why did you choose to work in Language Services for King County Elections?
I was excited for the opportunity to be involved in the democratic process, to engage with the community, and to be a linguistic and cultural bridge to Vietnamese residents of King County. Also, my dad is a translator, so I suppose it’s in my genes.  Continue reading