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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Elections

Recapping the November 2022 Ballot Measure Results

Recapping the November 2022 Ballot Measure Results

As with many past elections, this past November brought voters over 100 local ballot measures across the state, from libraries to bond measures to levy lid lifts. New this year, however, were several measures involving ranked-choice voting and home rule charter propositions.

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Managing Unexpected Elections Issues

Managing Unexpected Elections Issues

Sometimes unexpected and unusual situations can arise during the election process, such as a tie between candidates or the withdrawal or death of a candidate before the election takes place.

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Elections Integrity and Security: Part 2

Elections Integrity and Security: Part 2

In the second part of our series on election security measures, we look at how elections offices verify and tabulate votes to ensure a complete result, and under what conditions and how a recount happens.

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Elections Integrity and Security: Part 1

Elections Integrity and Security: Part 1

Free, fair, and accurate elections are a hallmark of our democratic system. Washington State has enacted a number of measures to protect each person’s right to vote and to ensure that elections statewide are safe and secure.

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Supporting/Opposing Ballot Measures and Candidates

Supporting/Opposing Ballot Measures and Candidates

Election season raises many questions for local government staff and elected officials, especially when it comes to ballot measures and candidates running for office. What are the rules for supporting or opposing an issue or a candidate and how do these apply?  

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How Local Ballot Measures Fared in the 2021 General Election

How Local Ballot Measures Fared in the 2021 General Election

From changes in governance to funding for criminal justice, libraries, and transportation, this blog covers many local ballot measures across the state and how these issues fared in the recent general election.

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You’ve Been Elected: Now What?

You’ve Been Elected: Now What?

Now that you've been elected there are a number of steps you'll need to take before assuming office, as well as some resources you might want to check out to get ready for your new adventure. 

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Use Of Public Facilities for Campaign Elections - 2021 General Election Edition

Use Of Public Facilities for Campaign Elections - 2021 General Election Edition

Local governments have many questions involving how, when, and in what context public facilities can be used during campaign season. This blog covers some common questions, from political buttons and signs to what (exactly) counts as a public facility. 

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Redistricting and the 2020 Census

Redistricting and the 2020 Census

Local governments using a district-based voting system must begin the process of redistricting in response to the 2020 Census, although a delay in distribution of this data also means new redistricting deadlines.

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Regulating Signs During Election Season

Regulating Signs During Election Season

This blog will touch on some frequently asked questions regarding the regulation of political signage. 

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2021: New Election Laws

2021: New Election Laws

This blog summarizes five new laws relating to elections from the 2021 legislative session.

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Election Season Tips & Reminders

Election Season Tips & Reminders

This blog highlights some of MRSC’s guidance about participating in elections — as a candidate, a local government employee, or an observer.

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2020 General Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2020 General Election

This blog post recaps some of the local ballot measure results from the November 2020 general election and discusses why the record-breaking turnout may make ballot measure validation tougher next year.

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Voting Rights and the Election

Voting Rights and the Election

This blog discusses a number of elements of Washington State elections that help keep them secure and accessible for everyone. 

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Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

This blog post provides a brief refresher on how a jurisdiction may regulate temporary, campaign-related signs in a post-Reed v. Gilbert environment.

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Election Season Rules – Does COVID-19 Change the Game?

Election Season Rules – Does COVID-19 Change the Game?

Can an employee post a political sign in their home office? Should elected officials take part in PSA's? This blog explores how standard rules governing what government resources can and cannot be used for during campaign season, and how these rules apply during the pandemic. 

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Elections – What’s New in 2020

Elections – What’s New in 2020

This blog post looks at election-related legislation passed during the Washington State Legislature's 2020 Regular Session. 

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 General Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 General Election

This blog post provides a brief summary of I-976 as well as many of the city, county, and special purpose district ballot measure results across the state.

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Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

Recounts, Ties, and Other Post-Election Scenarios

This post addresses issues or events that may arise after a general election, such as recounts, ties, election contests, and assumption of office.

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Election Season Has Arrived - Here's How to Do the Right Thing

Election Season Has Arrived - Here's How to Do the Right Thing

The election season has arrived in Washington State, and with it, many questions on what is and is not legal during campaigns. This blog post reviews a host of topics, from the prohibition on the use of public resources to where (and how) to hold candidate forums.

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 Primary Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2019 Primary Election

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley reviews some ballot measure results from the recent primary election in this blog post. 

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Seven New Election Laws Promote Citizen Participation, Increase Transparency

Seven New Election Laws Promote Citizen Participation, Increase Transparency

This blog post covers seven new election-related laws that promote transparency in the process and candidate funding, as well as make it easier for Washington State citizens to participate in local, state, and federal elections. 

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Limits on Pre-Election Litigation Involving Local Ballot Initiatives

Limits on Pre-Election Litigation Involving Local Ballot Initiatives

A recent court ruling now means that Washington local governments cannot spend public funds to judicially challenge proposed ballot initiatives. This blog post provides an overview of that ruling. 

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Washington Women Led the Way: National Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020

Washington Women Led the Way: National Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020

The Governor’s Women’s Commission has partnered with the Washington State Historical Society and the Women’s History Consortium to create a campaign commemorating the historical achievement of granting women the right to vote in Washington State in 1910.

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2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

There were a number of interesting sales taxes on the ballot this year for public safety, transit, and TBDs, as well as Tacoma’s first-of-its-kind cultural access program. We’ll also briefly discuss I-1634, which prohibits local soda taxes.

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​2018 General Election Part 2: Property Tax and Bonds Edition

​2018 General Election Part 2: Property Tax and Bonds Edition

This article looks primarily at local property tax measures from the recent general election — including levy lid lifts, EMS levies, bond measures, and funding for parks, libraries, and affordable housing.

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2018 General Election Part 3: Non-Revenue Edition

2018 General Election Part 3: Non-Revenue Edition

In this blog post, we examine non-revenue local ballot measures, including city and county charter changes, a city adopting the council-manager form of government, fire district annexations and mergers, and advisory votes on marijuana and downtown plazas and stadiums.

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A Summary of New Laws Addressing Elections in Washington State

A Summary of New Laws Addressing Elections in Washington State

This blog post summarizes six new election laws passed during the 2018 legislative session.

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2018 Primary Election Ballot Measure Results

2018 Primary Election Ballot Measure Results

This blog post looks at the issues that stood out in the 2018 primary elections. 

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Answers to Common Election Season Questions

Answers to Common Election Season Questions

This blog post addresses election-related questions MRSC consultants often field from elected officials and local government employees — such as use of public facilities for political campaigns — and offers additional resources. 

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WVRA: To Change or Not to Change?

WVRA: To Change or Not to Change?

The new Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) gives most municipalities the authority to change their election systems to remedy potential issues relating to equal voting opportunities for members of certain protected classes. This blog answers some common questions MRSC has gotten about the WRVA. 

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The Future of Voting in Washington

The Future of Voting in Washington

With the Voting Rights Act of 2018, â€‹Washington State took a step towards ensuring the right to vote for all Washingtonians, especially those in certain protected classes. Legal Consultant Linda Gallagher provides an overview. 

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Recapping the February Election Results

Recapping the February Election Results

Olympia passed the state’s second affordable housing sales tax, the Naches fire district will replace its outdated fire station, and Pullman is passing two bond measures, following uncertainty about whether the measures reached their validation requirements in November.

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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

This blog post 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

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

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”?

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?

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?

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

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 (!)

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

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…

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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Recapping the August Ballot Measures

Recapping the August Ballot Measures

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

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

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

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

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Ballot Measure Results from the 2015 Primary Election

Ballot Measure Results from the 2015 Primary Election

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

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

A review of the results of over 600 local ballot measures in our searchable ballot measure database shows some very interesting trends. 73% of all ballot measures succeed, but that only tells part of the story.

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