Nonpartisan Elections
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Franklin County Auditor > English > Elections > Candidates > Nonpartisan Elections
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Nonpartisan Elections


Under the Washington State Constitution (Art. 4, Sec. 29) and state statute (RCW 29A.36.171), elections for nonpartisan offices are conducted in a different manner than the nominating/elections process used for partisan offices. The following is an overview of the rules that apply to elections for nonpartisan state and judicial offices.

Statewide Offices

The only nonpartisan statewide (executive branch) elective office in Washington is Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

All candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction appear on the Primary ballot. If any candidate receives more than 50% of the vote for that position in the Primary, he or she goes on the General Election ballot alone. If no candidate receives a majority, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes go on the General Election ballot.

State Judicial Offices

All elective judicial offices in Washington are nonpartisan.

Justice of the State Supreme Court

All candidates for Supreme Court Justice appear on the Primary ballot. If any candidate receives more than 50% of the vote for that position in the Primary, he or she goes on the General Election ballot alone. If no candidate receives a majority, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes go on the General Election ballot.

State Court of Appeals Judge

The same rules apply to Court of Appeals Judge as apply to Supreme Court Justice.

Superior Court Judge
  • When there are two or more candidates for a Superior Court Judge position and one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, that candidate is elected in the Primary and does not appear on the General Election ballot (provided no write-in candidate submits a petition of 100 valid signatures within ten days after the Primary). When there are more than two candidates in the Primary and no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes go on the General Election ballot.
  • If there is only one candidate for Superior Court Judge, the rules differ depending on the population of the county:
    Less than 100,000 residents:
    The candidate appears on both the Primary and the General Election ballot.

    More than 100,000 residents:*
    If no other person has filed for the position by the end of the candidate withdrawal period, the candidate is automatically issued a certificate of election and does not appear on either the Primary or General Election ballot.

    *Benton, Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima (Office of Financial Management Population Report - April 1, 2005)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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