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Washington Secretary of State Sponsors Bill to Require Minor Party & Independent Candidates to Show Triple Support

Published on January 25, 2007, by in General.

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has written a bill (introduced as SB 5604 and HB 1534) that requires minor party and independent candidates to show popular support three ways before they can qualify for the general election.

First, each candidate needs a petition. Statewide candidates would need 1,000 signatures; US House candidates 500; legislative and county candidates would need 100.

Second, each candidate must pay a filing fee of 1% of the annual salary of the office.

Third, and most strangely, each candidate then goes on the primary ballot (except for presidential candidates) and must poll a minimum number of votes in the primary, in order to be placed on the general election. The minimum number of primary votes equals the number of signatures each had to get.

What is peculiar is that Washington now has separate primary ballots for each major party. It isn’t clear what primary ballot the minor party and independent candidates would appear on, and who would vote on such ballots.

The bill has an obvious drafting error. Whereas on page 14 it says the minor party and independent candidates need a certain minimum number of primary votes, on page 2 it says they don’t appear on the primary ballot.

2 Responses

  1. In Washington state’s blanket primary, which was in effect from 1936 to 2003, any candidate had to get at least 1% of the vote in order to advance to the general election. This included independents as well as party-affiliated candidates. (Of course, the top vote-getter from each party advanced, assuming that he got a minimum of 1%.)

    The “minimum vote” provision in Reed’s bill seems to be patterned after the blanket-primary provision.

    Reed– a RINO– fought to the last ditch to save the blanket primary, and has since pushed hard for the “top two” monstrosity. Maybe he’s pushing the above-mentioned bill in anticipation of the U. S. Supreme Court validating the “top two,” in which all candidates appear on the same ballot.

  2. Richard Batson

    Richard:

    Where did you see this projected action by Sam Reed, and the House and Senate bills? I saw nothing in any of the local Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA local media, either electronic or print. Has anyone else in Washington seen or heard mention of this in their local media, including Steve Rankin?

    Thanks much!!

    Richard Batson
    Vancouver, WA 98684

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