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2010 Election: Candidate filing week opens June 7

The 2010 election season officially opens with the beginning of filing week on Monday, June 7, when hundreds of candidates throughout Washington officially launch their campaigns.

Candidates can file for office by using the Internet, in-person filing or submitting the declaration of candidacy via mail.

There will be many congressional, legislative and judicial positions up for election this year throughout Washington, and many of these races will have multiple candidates. That is exciting for voters and good for democracy, according to Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Reed, the state’s chief elections officer, encourages more local leaders to file for office.

Among the key races in Washington this year are the U.S. Senate office held by Patty Murray; all of the state’s congressional seats, including an open seat in the 3rd Congressional District; all 98 of the state House positions; and 25 state Senate seats.

In addition, three of State Supreme Court offices (Position 1, held by Jim Johnson; Position 5, held by Barbara Madsen; and Position 6, held by Richard Sanders) are up this year. Numerous Court of Appeals offices will be on the ballot, as well as Superior Court Judge positions in Clark, King, Pierce and San Juan counties.

Although Filing Week runs June 7-11, candidates have had the option of submitting their Declaration of Candidacy form and filing fee via mail since May 21. Candidate names will be posted beginning June 7.

In-person filings will be accepted during regular business hours June 7-11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Office of Secretary of State’s conference room on the second floor of the Legislative Building in Olympia. The in-person filing deadline is 5 p.m. on June 11.

An increasingly popular way to submit a Declaration of Candidacy for office is online at www.vote.wa.gov. Filings will be accepted after 9 a.m. on June 7, until 4 p.m. on June 11. The secure filings may be submitted at any hour of the day or night this way. Of the 332 candidates who filed with the Office of Secretary of State in 2008, 180 candidates filed electronically, or about 54 percent.

Candidates must file with the Office of Secretary of State if they are running for a federal or statewide office, a legislative seat in a district that is in more than one county, or a multi-county judicial district.

Candidates running for a legislative seat in a single-county district, a single-county judicial district or other office wholly within one county must file with their county elections office.

Candidates may withdraw, in writing, through June 17 at 5 p.m.

Under the Top 2 Primary system adopted by citizen initiative in 2004 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, the Declaration of Candidacy form allows candidates to self-describe their political preference, but this will not mean that the person is nominated by or supported by a party.

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