By Evan Smith
Candidates start filing Monday for positions on the Aug. 5 primary and Nov. 4 general-election ballots.
Candidates file online or in person at either the Snohomish County auditor’s office in Everett or the secretary of state’s office in Olympia Monday, May 12 through Friday, May 16.
Online filing and in-person filing are essentially the same because, when candidates come in to file, elections officials direct them to a computer connected to the state or county elections web site.
Candidates for county and local offices and for legislative positions in districts lying entirely within the county file through the county auditor’s office. Candidates for congress, for statewide offices and for legislative districts that cross county lines file with the secretary of state.
Online filing information for Snohomish County is available at http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/228/Candidate-Filing. The online filing web site will be open 24 hours a day from 9 a. m. Monday through 4 p.m. Friday. State online filing information is available at www.vote.wa.gov.
The auditor’s office is open from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The secretary of state’s office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Local ballots will include the State Senate positions now held by Marko Liias in the 21st District and Maralyn Chase in the 32nd District; the State House of Representatives positions held by Luis Moscoso and Derek Stanford in the 1st Legislative District; Lillian Ortiz-Self and Mary Helen Roberts in the 21st District, and by Ruth Kagi and Cindy Ryu in the 32nd District, and the South District Court positions now held by Beth A. Fraser, Jeffrey Goodwin and Carol A. McRae.
Candidates file at the same time for Democratic and Republican precinct committee officer.
Elections officials have offered candidates the chance to file by mail since April 28.
County Elections Manager Garth Fell says that candidates who filed early by mail have no advantage since officials don’t open their filing material until the official filing period starts.
He said two weeks ago that candidates who file online have control of their information, something that mail candidates lose because someone else enters it into the computer system.
The lot draw that determines the order of names on Snohomish County ballots will be right after filing at the auditor’s office closes at 5 p.m. Friday.
Candidates can withdraw their names from the ballot through May 19. Candidates who withdraw don’t get their filing fees back. A candidate who withdraws from one position and files for another loses the first filing fee.
Candidates can file as registered write-in candidates for the primary for Primary May 19 through July 18 and for the general election May 19 through Oct. 17.
A registered write-in candidate has his or her votes counted even with minor misspellings or a missing or erroneous party preference.
In 2012, a registered write-in candidate in the 21st Legislative District qualified for the general-election ballot by finishing second in the primary behind an otherwise unopposed Democratic incumbent with at least 1 percent of the primary vote. He appeared on the November ballot as a Republican opponent to the Democratic incumbent.
At the same time, an unregistered write-in candidate in the 1st Legislative District qualified for the general election in the same way but appeared on the November ballot with no party preference.