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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Elections

Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

November 14, 2017 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Elections

Legal Consulant Jill Dvorkin looks at issues that may arise after a general election, such as recounts, ties, election contests, and assumption of office.

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Ballot Measures Part 2: Forms of Government, Marijuana Bans, and Non-Revenue Measures

Ballot Measures Part 2: Forms of Government, Marijuana Bans, and Non-Revenue Measures

November 13, 2017 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections , Forms of Government-City , Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley recaps some of the non-revenue ballot measures in the general election, including Shelton abandoning its commission form of government, Port Angeles retaining its code city classification, and voters expressing support for existing marijuana bans.

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Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

November 9, 2017 by Steve Hawley
Category: Revenues , Elections

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley recaps some of the local funding measures in this year’s general election, including the state’s first affordable housing sales tax, the failure of a voted REET 2 measure, and low turnout causing problems for bonds and levies.

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Post-Election Odds and Ends: Bonds, Oaths and Taking Office

Post-Election Odds and Ends: Bonds, Oaths and Taking Office

October 30, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Elections

This blog discusses some of the odds and ends that need to be wrapped up before newly elected officials can get down to the business of governing.

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Election Season is Upon Us! Do You Remember the Election-Related “Dos” and “Don’ts”?

Election Season is Upon Us! Do You Remember the Election-Related “Dos” and “Don’ts”?

August 25, 2017 by Jim Doherty
Category: Elections

There are many election issues that arise each year. Fortunately, we have addressed many of them in the past. In this post, MRSC Legal Manager Jim Doherty gives a refresher on some of the common issues faced by public agencies in Washington State. 

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How Did Ballot Measures Fare in the Primary?

How Did Ballot Measures Fare in the Primary?

August 4, 2017 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

MRSC's Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley looks at how ballot measures across the state fared in the 2017 primary election. 

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Disqualification: What if a Candidate Doesn’t Meet the Required Qualifications for Office?

Disqualification: What if a Candidate Doesn’t Meet the Required Qualifications for Office?

May 22, 2017 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Elections

The candidate filing period for this year's election ended on Friday, May 19. To be qualified for an office, candidates must satisfy certain legal requirements, such as citizenship, residency, and voter registration. But what if they aren't legally qualified?

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Voter-Approved Tax Measures: Five Years of Washington State Trends

Voter-Approved Tax Measures: Five Years of Washington State Trends

May 19, 2017 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

Using data from over 1,200 local ballot measures put out to voters since 2011, our online Local Ballot Measure Database can offer insight into voting trends and what makes a ballot measure successful.

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Voters Decide on Levies, Bonds, and a City Income Tax (!)

Voters Decide on Levies, Bonds, and a City Income Tax (!)

November 30, 2016 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

In the second of this 2-part series on recent ballot results, MRSC's Steve Hawley looks at levies, bonds, and an effort to institute an income tax in the city of Olympia.

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Voters Weigh In on Charter Amendments, Fireworks, Marijuana, and More

Voters Weigh In on Charter Amendments, Fireworks, Marijuana, and More

November 29, 2016 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

In the recent general election, voters got the chance to weigh in on many important issues statewide.  This post will focus on election results for city and county charter amendments, advisory votes, and other non-financial measures.

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Regulating Political Signs in Election Season: Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign…

Regulating Political Signs in Election Season: Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign…

September 26, 2016 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Elections

Reed presents a significant problem for local governments because most, if not all, sign codes adopted before that decision regulate categories of signs based on content, such as a category for political or real estate signs. Even though the Reed decision was issued over a year ago, local governments are still struggling with how to revise their sign codes to comply with its holding. Today’s blog post will consider how Reed may affect the regulation of political and other types of temporary signs going forward.
 

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Election Season Perils & Pitfalls

Election Season Perils & Pitfalls

September 15, 2016 by Jim Doherty
Category: Elections

MRSC is again starting to receive a diverse range of questions related to what local governments and public employees can and cannot do in regard to election campaigning. This blog post provides a brief overview of the relevant considerations related to the use of public facilities, and the actions of public employees during election season.

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Recapping the August Ballot Measures

Recapping the August Ballot Measures

August 30, 2016 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

This post highlights selected ballot measures from the August 2 primary election, including a sales tax to help address the opioid epidemic, large capital projects in Eastern Washington, and a police funding measure that experienced a 180-degree turnaround from last year.

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Special Election Recap: Regional Fire Agencies, Marijuana, TBDs, and More

Special Election Recap: Regional Fire Agencies, Marijuana, TBDs, and More

April 28, 2016 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

A recap of important and noteworthy local ballot measure results from the April 2016 special election.

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Voters Weigh in on Contentious Charter Changes and Initiatives

Voters Weigh in on Contentious Charter Changes and Initiatives

November 18, 2015 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

The second in a two part series breaking down ballot measures from the 2015 general election. This post focuses on charter amendments, initiatives, and other governance changes.

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Voters Support Fireworks Bans, Transportation Taxes, but Parks and Police Struggle

Voters Support Fireworks Bans, Transportation Taxes, but Parks and Police Struggle

November 10, 2015 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

The first in a two-part look at ballot measure results from the November 2015 general election.

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Answers to Common Election Season Questions Regarding Use of Public Facilities

Answers to Common Election Season Questions Regarding Use of Public Facilities

September 2, 2015 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Elections

Election season is here again, and, as with all elections, many questions will arise regarding the use of public facilities in support of or opposition to candidates and ballot issues. To ready myself for the questions that may be asked, I’ve reviewed the responses and other materials MRSC has relied on in the past to answer these questions. 

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2015 Primary Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2015 Primary Election

August 5, 2015 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

A roundup of the more interesting ballot measure results from the 2015 primary election.

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2014 General Election: Bonds and Levy Lid Lifts Struggle

2014 General Election: Bonds and Levy Lid Lifts Struggle

November 7, 2014 by Steve Hawley
Category: Elections

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the final election results, which were certified on November 26.
The Washington State general election results have officially been certified, so we now know the fates of all of the local ballot measures.

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What Makes A Successful Ballot Measure? A Look at the Data

What Makes A Successful Ballot Measure? A Look at the Data

September 25, 2014 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

Since 2011, MRSC has collected data on the results of all ballot measures placed on the ballot by cities, counties, and the special districts we serve.  A review of the results of over 600 measures in our searchable ballot measure database shows some very interesting trends.  73% of all ballot measures succeed, but...

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Yakima

Yakima's Election System Deemed in Violation of Voting Rights Act

September 4, 2014 by Flannary Collins
Category: Elections

A federal district court judge recently ruled that the City of Yakima’s city council election system violates Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973.  Observing that no...

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16-Year-Old Voters Make the Difference in Mayor's Election!

December 4, 2013 by Flannary Collins
Category: Elections , Public Participation

You would not see this type of headline in Washington State, but in a small city in Maryland, it actually could happen. Takoma Park, MD, located just outside the other Washington, became the first city in the nation to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections. The city council’s aim was to boost voter turnout; the jury is still out on whether this will help, but – what an...

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Voters Reject Changes to Form of Government, Transportation Funding

November 7, 2013 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

On election day, while most of the attention was focused on high-profile mayoral races and state-wide measures such as the genetically modified food labelling, local governments placed 125 local measures on the ballot.  The measures ran the gamut from a proposal to expand the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick (57% No) to a Yakima city charter amendment requiring at least five of the...

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Election Season "Dos and Don

Election Season "Dos and Don'ts"

October 15, 2013 by Flannary Collins
Category: Elections

It’s election season!  And, a perfect time to provide a refresher on “dos and don’ts” for campaign-related issues for local government officials and employees. As a public employee, have you ever wondered about the following?
 

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The Election Is Over -- When Can I Take Office?

December 4, 2012
Category: Elections

You received the most votes and the results have been certified; now what? Before you can begin your tenure as an elected official, you will need to complete the final steps to be "qualified" to assume office.
For purposes of the election statutes, the term "qualified" means, in addition to the results being certified...

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Results for Over 100 Local Government Ballot Measures

Results for Over 100 Local Government Ballot Measures

November 7, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

Ed. Note: This post updated 11/9/12, 5 pm.
This fall, while all the election attention was focused on the presidential and...

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It’s Election Time Again. It’s a Good Idea to Review Your Regulations Regarding Election-Related Political Signs.

October 3, 2012
Category: Elections

It’s election season -- the time when planting strips and roadsides bristle with campaign signs, and your city or county is getting calls asking what your local regulations are for political signs. Here’s a quick refresher on the dos and don’ts of political signs.
Campaign signs are protected under the free speech provisions of the U.S. and Washington State constitutions, and local...

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Wearing Uniforms in Political Advertisements

September 4, 2012 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Elections

This fall’s election is only a couple of months away, and candidates for office or proponents/opponents of ballot measures may be wondering if their advertisements may make use of photographs showing police officers, deputy sheriffs, firefighters, or other uniformed employees dressed in their agency uniforms. State law, specifically RCW 42.17A.555, prohibits the use of public facilities for the...

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Five Tips on Supporting a Ballot Proposition

July 30, 2012 by Joe Levan
Category: Elections

In a past blog post, we provided a refresher on running for reelection and use of public facilities for campaign purposes (July 10, 2012). In this post, I’ll focus on what local government elected officials and staff can do to support a ballot measure (e.g., a tax levy or bond measure). More specifically, I have five tips to help guide elected officials and staff over the – at times – rocky...

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Running for Re-Election? Here's a Quick Refresher on the Use of Public Facilities for Campaign Purposes.

July 10, 2012
Category: Elections

The primary rule is that facilities of your public office cannot be used in election campaigns or in support of or in opposition to ballot measures.  See RCW 42.17A.555 (formerly RCW 42.17.130).
So what are “public facilities?

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Chelan and Douglas County Voters Save the Town Toyota Center Arena

Chelan and Douglas County Voters Save the Town Toyota Center Arena

April 18, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Elections

Voters Generally Support Local Government Funding Measures. Perhaps buoyed by improving economic conditions, Washington voters are...

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