Primary pamphlets came early in effort to educate voters

Sunday, May 1, 2016

By Evan Smith

Voters’ pamphlets for the May 24 presidential primary came about 10 days before ballots will arrive. State elections officials say that early mailing of the pamphlets helps state efforts to educate voters.

State Elections Director Lori Augino says that the state sent ballots early because officials “like our voters to have plenty of time to study the material before they sit down to vote.”

King County elections officials will mail presidential-primary ballots to registered voters May 4 by first-class mail. Voters’ pamphlets come by bulk mail, which is cheaper but doesn’t get delivered as predictably.

“During the last general election, the post office had some delays mailing our pamphlets in a few areas, which resulted in some voters receiving their pamphlet closer to the date they received their ballot,” Augino said Tuesday. “The Secretary of State's office mails pamphlets roughly a week before ballots are mailed. Not all counties mail ballots on the same day however.”

Voter education for the presidential primary includes information about making a party declaration, something new to Washington.

A Snohomish County official added that local voters’ pamphlets for other elections often follow a different schedule.

Evan Smith can be reached at


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