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Elections Costs 1/9/2012
In an effort to save money and make the elections process more efficient during these tight budget times, Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is asking the Legislature to lower the cost of producing the statewide Voters’ Pamphlet, eliminate the primary for judicial races with fewer than three candidates, and implement other ideas to reduce elections costs for the state and counties.
Reed said the centerpiece of his elections cost-savings legislation is allowing the full text of ballot measures to be placed online for free on the Secretary of State’s website instead of the printed Voters’ Pamphlet, which is produced by Reed’s Elections Division.
Currently the Secretary of State is required by the Washington Constitution to send the Voters’ Pamphlet to all 3 million Washingtonhouseholds.
Secretary Reed said,  “When you consider that few people bother to read the entire text of a ballot measure and how costly it is to include in the printed Voters’ Pamphlet, it makes sense to just put the text of a ballot measure online. If people want read the entire text, it will be accessible on their computer or hand-held device."
Providing a measure’s text online instead of in the printed Voters’ Pamphlet would save about $364,000 a year.     
Reed’s elections cost reduction legislation also would clarify thatWashington voter registration information can be compared with information in other states to identify voters who are registered in another state and/or voting in another state.
The bill will be introduced this week.