Midterm elections 2022: Voting in Washington state
Election Day is Nov. 8. Here's what you need to know about how to vote and what's on the ballot in Washington state.
Why it matters: Control of Congress is at stake in this year's midterm elections, as is a potential change in who oversees Washington's mail-in voting system.
- About 83% of seats in the state legislature are also on the ballot, along with local measures that could change how Seattleites vote in the future.
Voting in Washington state
- You can register to vote or update your address online or by mail through Oct. 31.
- After that, registration changes can be made in person at any election office or voting center through 8pm on Nov. 8.
- Ballots must be postmarked or returned to an official ballot dropbox by 8pm on Election Day to be counted.
- Ballots will be mailed to registered voters by Oct. 21. If you need to request a new ballot, contact your county election office.
Secretary of state: Steve Hobbs (D) vs. Julie Anderson (nonpartisan)
- Republicans have won every secretary of state's race in Washington for the past 58 years — but this time, they're not even on the ballot.
- Nonpartisan candidate Julie Anderson, Pierce County's auditor, edged out a field of GOP candidates in the August primary, ensuring that no Republicans advanced to the general election.
- She is trying to unseat Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the position last year when Republican Kim Wyman resigned to take a job in the Biden administration.
- The secretary of state oversees elections, runs the state archives, and registers corporations and charities, among other duties.
- Nonpartisan secretary of state candidate attacked by Democrats
- Democrats split over nonpartisan secretary of state candidate
- Secretary of state candidates battle for progressive Seattle vote
U.S. Senate: Patty Murray (D) vs. Tiffany Smiley (R)
- U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has been in office for 30 years, and her Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley says that's too long.
- Smiley, a former triage nurse who has advocated for injured veterans, has run ads criticizing Murray for not doing enough to combat crime in Seattle.
- Murray's campaign, meanwhile, has criticized Smiley's past anti-abortion comments, including her support of Texas' restrictive abortion ban, as being out of step with the views of Washington voters.
- Sen. Murray and challenger Smiley clash over abortion and climate
- GOP Washington Senate candidate scrubs website of 2020 election doubts
- Republican Tiffany Smiley raises $6 million for Washington Senate bid
8th Congressional District: Matt Larkin (R) vs. Kim Schrier (D)
- The race in Washington's 8th Congressional District could prove pivotal in the battle for control of the U.S. House this year. It's the state's only congressional race that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report lists as a toss-up.
- Incumbent Democrat Kim Schrier, a pediatrician elected to represent the district east of Seattle in 2018, is defending her seat against Matt Larkin, a lawyer who works with his family's manufacturing business.
- Washington's 8th Congressional District could tip control of Congress
- Washington Democrats plan to hit GOP hard on abortion
3rd Congressional District: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D) vs. Joe Kent (R)
- The current officeholder in this district, U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, lost in the Republican primary to Joe Kent after being one of 10 Republicans nationwide to support the impeachment of former President Trump.
- Trump-endorsed Kent cited Beutler's impeachment vote as one of his key reasons for jumping into the race.
- Kent, a former Green Beret from Yacolt, has said he believes the 2020 election was stolen and wants to impeach President Biden.
- The Democrat in the race, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, lives in rural Skamania County and runs an auto shop with her husband. She has criticized Kent as being an extremist who would restrict women's abortion rights. She also disagrees with his plan to stop issuing work visas to immigrants, which she said would amount to "economic sabotage."
- MAGA Republican faces rural Democrat in Washington's 3rd Congressional District
- Impeachment GOP Rep. Herrera Beutler concedes to Trump-backed rival
King County prosecutor: Jim Ferrell (D) vs. Leesa Manion (D)
- The retirement of King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg means the state's largest county will have a new lead lawyer for the first time in 15 years.
- Competing to fill the open seat are Leesa Manion, Satterberg's chief of staff who has worked in the office for nearly three decades, and Jim Ferrell, the current Federal Way mayor who spent 16 years as a King County deputy prosecutor.
- The two candidates have clashed over their support for the county's juvenile diversion programs, among other issues. Ferrell has said he would take a harder line when it comes to prosecuting felonies among juveniles, while Manion has said the county's current youth diversion programs significantly reduce recidivism.
- Prosecutor candidates diverge on criminal justice reform
- Donations pile up in King County prosecutor's race
- Democrats say prosecutor candidate Ferrell isn't a Democrat
Ranked choice voting vs. approval voting
Seattle voters are being asked to choose between two new methods of voting for citywide races.
- Under one of the options, approval voting, voters could select all candidates they approve of in the August primary election. The two candidates who get the most total votes in the primary would advance to a one-on-one race in November.
- Under ranked-choice voting, the other option, primary voters would be able to rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gets a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate with the lowest number of votes would be eliminated.
- For voters who chose the eliminated candidate, their ballot will be transferred to their second choice candidate. That process would repeat until only two candidates remain. Those two would advance to the November election.
- Either reform if enacted would apply only to August primary races for Seattle city council, city attorney, and the mayor's office.
- Voters can also choose to reject both proposed reforms and leave voting the way it's been.
- Seattle's election reform showdown
- Seattle City Council puts ranked-choice voting on the ballot
- Seattle's approval voting initiative, I-134, explained
Abortion and inflation on the ballot
- Abortion is proving to be a major issue in races for the state legislature as well as Congress, following the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
- Democrats expect outrage over the abortion ruling will hurt Republicans in November, although GOP officials are taking steps to try to neutralize the issue.
- Republican candidates, meanwhile, are hammering Democrats over inflation, high gas prices and crime.
- How abortion rescued Democrats' midterm hopes
- GOP hammers Democrats on abortion in key Washington swing districts
- Washington Democrats plan to hit GOP hard on abortion
- Seattle area's high inflation rate will be an election issue
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