Welcome to our new way of voting

By Julie Anderson
It’s here! We have a new election system!
The Pierce County auditor’s office has been setting aside funds in its election system replacement account, carefully nurturing it for the past five years. This spring, we were able to purchase state-of-the-art equipment, software, licensing and installation.
Over 100 people attended our March open house. It was a pleasure to demonstrate Clear Ballot's efficiency to the county, transparency to the public, and accessibility to all voters.
Pierce County will use the Clear Ballot system for the first time in the Aug. 1 primary election.
To say that we’re excited is an understatement. The introduction of Clear Ballot will add even more integrity and transparency to Pierce County’s outstanding reputation for reliability. While very little will change for you, the voter, the difference will be significant in the central count process. Counting votes will be significantly more efficient. And, we’ll have world class audit accountability.
There are many ways to measure the civic health of a community. To name a few: Voter registration rates, ballot returns, volunteerism, engagement in rallies, and open discussion of political affairs.
During May, Pierce County citizens displayed a significant amount of engagement when 292 individuals filed for elected office. While a few offices went uncontested, the majority will have vigorous debates and real choices for voters.
I’d like to remind you of what you’ll see on your August ballot:
• In Washington, we operate a Top-2 primary system. The purpose of the primary election is to identify the two candidates with the most votes and move them along to November’s general election for a final contest.
• Another Washington State law that is often forgotten: In non-partisan races (think town and city councils, fire commissioners, etc.), candidates will only appear on the primary ballot when there are three or more candidates in the race. If only one or two people filed for an office, no primary is held. They’ll appear on the November General Election instead.
Thank you for being an engaged Pierce County voter.

Julie Anderson is the Pierce County auditor. Her duties include overseeing elections in the county. She wrote this article as the “Message from the Auditor” in the voters pamphlet for this year’s primary election.


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