voting

Ron Wyden, D-Ore., became the first U.S. senator to be elected entirely by mail when he was voted into office in 1996. Tuesday he told reporters he wants the vote-by-mail system to be expanded nationally, at least for federal races.

Wyden has tried unsuccessfully to get similar bills through Congress before, but he’s bringing it up again now because of long lines at polling places during this year's presidential primary season.

Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

Voters in Yakima will elect their first Latino city councilor today, after a lawsuit brought by the ACLU forced the city to create a new electoral map. Even before the results come in, some residents of the new majority-Latino districts feel that change is already underway.

Oregon could join a national movement to change the way the president is elected.

Washington lawmakers today renewed a push to reform local elections and ensure minorities are represented.

The Washington Voting Rights Act is a state version of the federal law. It would allow minority groups to challenge their representation in city, country and school district elections.

The bill stalled in both the state House and Senate after opposition from lawmakers who worry the law would lead to expensive lawsuits.

Critics still say the bill would cost the state millions in legal fees.

The number of registered voters in Oregon could soon increase dramatically.

AP Images

Northwest lawmakers voted along party lines as the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to reject a plan to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Fourteen Democrats voted with all 45 Republicans in the Senate to approve it. But it was one vote shy of the amount needed to send the measure to the President. Washington Democrat Patty Murray told her colleagues she was against the pipeline.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

It’s election week. Here in the Northwest, Washington and Oregon voters will cast their ballots by mail – or drop box. In Idaho, most voters still go to the polls.

Highways Agency / Flickr

Here's the latest get out the vote tool: A new app lets Oregonians see if their Facebook friends have voted yet. If they haven't, the app lets the user badger them until they do.

The app is called Did They Vote.

Washington Secretary of State

Election 2014 is just over three weeks away.

Ballots will soon be arriving in mailboxes in Washington and Oregon where the election is all vote-by-mail. Idaho voters still go to the polls, but about a quarter of Gem State ballots are cast absentee.

Washington state elections director Lori Augino said her office predicts 62 percent turnout for the November election.

hjl / Flickr

Washington state's general election is underway. Although the postmark deadline for mail-in ballots isn't until Nov. 4, 65,000 military and overseas ballots have started going out.  

Washington's Secretary of State Kim Wyman is predicting a higher than usual voter turnout in November's mid-term elections.

Wyman said she expects 62 percent of voters to participate. That compares to 56.4 percent in 2002, the last year mid-term elections without a U.S. Senate race were held.

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