Washington’s 2011 election season officially opens with the start of candidate filing week on Monday, June 6, with hundreds of candidates officially kicking off their campaigns.
Candidates can file for office by using the Internet, in-person filing or submitting the declaration of candidacy via mail.
"Most of the offices up for election this year are for local positions," said Secretary of State Sam Reed. "These are very important because they have a much more direct impact of citizens’ homes, roads, schools and communities than the even-year elections."
Examples of the local offices are mayors, city council positions and members of school boards and fire district boards.
Because there are no races this year for federal or statewide positions, or for legislative or judicial offices whose district boundaries are in more than one county, the Office of Secretary of State will not accept any filings for office this year.
All candidates this year must file with their county elections office.
For a list of county auditor offices, visit http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/auditors.aspx.
The 2011 primary election is August 16.
This year’s general Election is November 8.
• Although filing week runs June 6-10, candidates have had the option of submitting their declaration of candidacy forms and filing fees via mail since May 20. Candidate names will be posted beginning June 6.
Filing fees for offices with annual salaries of $1,000 or more are 1 percent. For instance, it costs $421.06 to file for a legislative race.
• Candidates may withdraw, in writing, with their county elections office through June 16.
• After candidate filing week concludes, the filing officer will conduct a lot drawing to determine the order of candidates for each race on the 2011 ballot.
• All candidates are treated the same.
• A race will be reopened for a special filing period if nobody files during the regular filing period.
• Most election races this year are nonpartisan.
• Under the top 2 primary system adopted by citizen initiative in 2004 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, the declaration of candidacy form allows partisan candidates to self-describe their political preference, but this will not mean that the person is nominated by or supported by a party.
• In the primary election, voters choose their favorite for each office, and the top two vote-getters advance to the general election.