Washington Elections

Washington Secretary of State

Voter turnout in Washington was not just low this year – it could be a 36 year low.

Not since 1978 has such a small percentage of registered voters participated in a Washington election. 1978 was the year Washington voters approved a ban on mandatory busing. That year, just 52 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. Turnout this year is barely on track to beat that at 54 percent. That’s eight points lower than Secretary of State Kim Wyman projected back in September.

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Washington’s Initiative 594 requires universal background checks for gun purchases and transfers. Initial results show the measure passing with nearly 60% of the vote . The opposing measure to bar expanded background checks, Initiative 591, has fallen short of passing so far. Backers of 594 say they are energized by this victory.

With the likely passage of Initiative 594, Washington has joined a handful of other states that require universal background checks for gun sales. Supporters say this success is just the beginning of their efforts.

U.S. Congress

All nine incumbent members of Congress in Washington state were easily re-elected last night.

That includes freshman Democrat Suzan DelBene in the state's only swing district.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Washington’s primary election was on August 5. Two days later, large checks started arriving in the campaign coffers of the House Democratic Campaign Committee also known as the HDCC. The biggest check of $80,000 came from Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. By the end of that day, the HDCC had received some $800,000 from its own members.

State Representative Sam Hunt said he saw that money and thought, "We [should] all get on a plane and go to Tahiti.”


Political campaigns and committees in Washington have spent nearly $70 million so far this year. That includes statewide initiatives and legislative races.

So where’s all the money going? It’s everything from address labels to Zipcar rentals.

The single biggest category of spending this year is campaigns contributing to other campaigns. Political money has a tendency to move around a lot before it actually gets spent on something tangible.

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.