SOUTH COUNTY POLITICS: This used to be primary election week

  • Tue Sep 14th, 2010 5:48pm

By Evan Smith

Enterprise political writer

Tuesday was primary-election day in seven states. Another votes Saturday.

This was primary week in Washington until four years ago.

We moved the primary to August to have time to get results before preparation of November ballots for mailing to military and other overseas voters.

How do those other states get primary votes counted in time to prepare ballots?

Assistant state elections director Katie Blinn says that the relevant date is the date we certify elections — two weeks after the primary.

She said Monday that the late certification is because Washington has decided to allow voters, including military and overseas voters, to vote on Election Day.

“Most other states require absentee ballots to be received by the close of polls,” she told me. “For many military and overseas voters, this means that they must vote weeks before Election Day in order to get the ballot returned before the close of polls.”

A spokesman for the secretary of state noted that counties get two weeks to count and certify the ballots and that the secretary of state gets another week to approve results before November ballots need to be ready for mailing in late September.

Liias-Scott race gets nasty again

The contest between 21st District Democratic state Rep. Marko Liias and Republican challenger Elizabeth Scott, which was marked by dueling websites before the primary, is getting nasty again, with an organization called Red Snohomish firing the opening shots.

Red Snohomish, run by Andrew Funk, whom Liias defeated in the 2008 election, has started a website called MarkoMadness.com that has a March-madness basketball tournament-type bracket with competition among what it says are flaws in Liias’ personal, financial or political background. Each week, it highlights two of those flaws. The site asks readers to choose which of the two should advance to semi-final competition, with the semi-final winners advancing to a final, from which one will be selected for a campaign commercial.

In response, Liias has put a section on his own site labeled “Curing Marko Madness,” in which he responds to the charges. The site says, “The best cure for Marko Madness is a dose of the truth.”

Liias has asked Scott to ask her supporters to stop, but Scott says that Red Snohomish is an independent political action committee with no connection to her campaign.

Scott and Liias have each accused the other of violating a pledge to run clean campaigns based on issues.

Ericks becomes U.S. marshal

Mark Ericks’ long-expected resignation from the Legislature came last week as he prepared to start this week as U.S. Marshal for Western Washington.

Ericks, a Democrat who represented the 1st Legislative District including Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Bothell and Woodinville, had been nominated for the federal position more than a year ago, but the U.S. Senate didn’t confirm him until last month.

He chose not to seek re-election in anticipation of getting the new job. Democrat Luis Moscoso and Republican Heidi Munson are competing in the November election to succeed Ericks.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.