WA minimum wage initiative certified to ballot ?>

WA minimum wage initiative certified to ballot

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Initiative 1433, a proposal to increase the state minimum wage, will appear on the fall statewide ballot in Washington, says Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

The state Elections Division on Friday completed a random sample of the 345,907 signatures submitted by the initiative backers and determined that the measure easily exceeded the bare minimum of 246,372 valid signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

Wyman said a random sample of over 10,000 signatures showed most were valid. Rejection rate due to duplicates or invalid signatures was 15 percent, lower than the average error rate of 18 percent.

I-1433 was the first of four Initiatives to the People to qualify.

State Elections Director Lori Augino said crews immediately began work Friday on verifying signatures on I-1491, dealing with gun restrictions for those covered under temporary “extreme risk” protection orders.

After that, crews will check I-1501, dealing with “protection of seniors and vulnerable individuals from financial crimes and victimization.” Finally, I-1464 will be checked. It covers campaign finance reform, disclosure and enforcement, and creation of a public campaign financing program.

I-1433 would boost the state minimum wage to $13.50 an hour over four years, up from the current $9.47 under a previously approved initiative that provides annual COLA updates. It also would require employers to provide paid sick leave.

Here is the text: http://tinyurl.com/za6paqk

Two other citizen-generated measures, Initiatives to the Legislature 732 (carbon taxes) and 735 (opposing Citizen United court decision), already have qualified for the fall ballot.

WA Election crews begin checking initiatives ?>

WA Election crews begin checking initiatives

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State election crews have begun checking on voter signatures submitted for four citizen initiatives. First up:  Initiative 1433, a plan to boost the state minimum wage to $13.50 in stages and require employers to provide paid sick leave. The minimum wage currently is $9.47 and rises annually with the CPI under terms of an earlier voter-approved initiative.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Monday the I-1433 campaign submitted 345,907 signatures, nearly 100,000 more than the bare minimum needed to secure a place on the fall statewide ballot.

The office suggests that sponsors turn in at least 325,000 signatures, to cover duplicate and invalid signatures. Using computer-generated random sampling, crews will check 10,412 of the signatures. The process should wrap up later this week.

Next in line will be I-1491, dealing with gun restrictions under temporary “extreme risk protection orders.”

After that, crews will check I-1501, dealing with “protection of seniors and vulnerable individuals from financial crimes and victimization.”

And finally, I-1464 will be checked. This would create a state-funded campaign finance program.

Two other citizen-generated measures, Initiatives to the Legislature 732 (carbon taxes) and 735 (opposing Citizen United court decision), already have qualified for the fall ballot.

WA Primary election now under way ?>

WA Primary election now under way

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Washington’s presidential election year Primary is now under way! Counties have been sending ballots to more than 4 million registered Washington voters this week.

The ballot is loaded with dozens of wide-open races as voters narrow the field for each office to two top vote-getters who will advance to the fall General Election.

In all, 671 candidates are running for federal, statewide, legislative, county, judicial and local offices, and hundreds more are running for Democratic and Republican precinct committee officer.

You can view the online Primary Voters’ Guide here. It’s available in English, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese. You can also view TVW’s Video Voters’ Guide for the Primary here.

Voters will have until Aug. 2 to fill out their ballots and return them via drop boxes, by postal service, or in person to the county elections office. In-person voter registration is available at your county elections department until July 25 for those not currently registered.

About 65,000 military and overseas ballots were mailed out by June 18, and a number have already been cast and returned to their home counties.

This is this big once-every-four-years election, notes state Elections Director Lori Augino. Voters are choosing finalists for all nine statewide elected officials, including governor. Five of the incumbents are not seeking re-election: lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor, lands commissioner and superintendent of public instruction.

Washington also will winnow the field for U.S. Senate seat now held by Patty Murray. All 10 U.S. House seats are up this year, including the 7th District, where the dean of the state delegation, Jim McDermott, is retiring.

Most of the Legislature is on the ballot, too, including all 98 House seats and 26 of the 49 Senate positions.

The top two Primary winners in each office will advance to the General Election, without regard to party. Voters do not register by party and may vote for their favorite for each office.

One nonpartisan state Supreme Court race, for the seat now occupied by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, will be on the Primary ballot. Two other incumbent justices have a lone challenger and will not be on the ballot until the General Election.

The presidential candidates will appear on the November ballot. Washington had input through Presidential Primary and caucuses held earlier. Under state law, the Republican and Democratic national nominees automatically go to Washington ballot. Other minor party or independent tickets are qualifying by gathering 1,000 voter signatures at convention(s) no later than July 23.

Statewide ballot propositions also will be voted on in the fall election.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman, the state’s chief elections officer, urges a strong turnout for the Primary. The last comparable elections, in 2012 and 2008, had a turnout that averaged 41 percent, with a General Election average of double that, 82 percent. Says Wyman:

“This Primary is an important opportunity for the voters to express themselves on the leaders who will guide the state and our communities in the coming years. I know people are really engaged in this highly unusual election year, and I’m hoping they will use their ballots as a means of expression.”

Added Augino: “This is a big deal. Our county partners are ready for a robust turnout, and nothing could make me happier.”

From the Archives: 1964 Republican Convention photos ?>

From the Archives: 1964 Republican Convention photos

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(Photos courtesy of Washington State Archives)

With the 2016 National Republican Convention happening next week in Cleveland, our State Archives got into the mood by sending us a few photos from the 1964 GOP Convention in San Francisco.

The top photo shows Washington delegates holding up Dan Evans signs inside the Cow Palace, which housed the convention. (Evans successfully ran for governor that year, serving three consecutive terms.) The middle shot features Dan and Nancy Evans with an elephant, the Republican Party’s mascot. The bottom photo shows Evans supporters filling a large balloon that read “GET A LIFT WITH DAN EVANS.” (Someone apparently thought better than having it read, “GET HIGH…”)

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The photos are featured in the latest issue of COLUMBIA Magazine, which is published by the Washington State Historical Society.

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State Library’s digital newspaper webpage revamped ?>

State Library’s digital newspaper webpage revamped

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A collection of bookmarks for Washington Digital Newspapers. (Images courtesy of Shawn Schollmeyer)

Many history and newspaper buffs and students are fans of the State Library’s digital newspaper collections, which feature digitized versions of many Washington newspapers whose editions were published more than a century ago.

The latest “news” on the newspaper collections is the merging of two existing collections into a new one called “Washington Digital Newspapers,” which will give the public easier, full-text search (move over, Google!) access to these historic newspapers. You can browse titles or use the calendar view to search the combined collection here. It currently includes 46 titles and more than 306,000 newspaper pages, and it’s mobile friendly!

A recent addition to the collection is the Tacoma Evening Telegraph (1886). In August, The Eatonville Dispatch (1916-2010) will be added. More additions by the end of this year include the Centralia Daily Hub (1914-1916), Danske Kronike (Danish/English, 1916-1917), and Dat Moi (Vietnamese/English, 1974-1987). State Library staff will add at least 40,000 pages of new content by end of this year, content that hasn’t appeared in any of the library’s earlier digital collections. And the Anacortes Museum just signed on to help digitize the Anacortes American for 2017!

“The Washington State Library is a rich resource of information for students, genealogists, researchers and history enthusiasts as one of the best `go-to’ places to find Washington newspapers,” said Shawn Schollmeyer, who oversees the Washington Digital Newspapers program for the State Library. “We’re always excited to add new newspaper titles to our digital collection.”

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Front page of the Tacoma Evening Telegraph in 1886.

The State Library’s newspaper collection includes current issues on paper and historic newspapers on microfilm with some searchable online. The library subscribes to about 125 daily and weekly newspapers throughout Washington, plus a few out-of-state papers. The microfilm collection consists of over 40,000 reels of newspapers dating from the 1850s to the present.

Washington Digital Newspapers combines titles from the Historic Newspapers in Washington collection, which covers Washington’s territorial and early statehood days, with titles digitized by the State Library as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program for inclusion in Chronicling America, an effort to digitize early (pre 1923) newspapers from over 30 states and territories in the U.S.

Inmate artwork brightens library at Coyote Ridge ?>

Inmate artwork brightens library at Coyote Ridge

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Inmates at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center stand in front of artwork they created for the facility’s library. (Photo courtesy Department of Corrections)

At the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) in Connell, there are some individuals who share their artistic abilities for the benefit of all.

There is a paint crew of incarcerated individuals who not only paint but make cardboard props, models and games for use in plays and family-friendly activities. These models/games are donated to the local library for their use in their children’s’ programs and special events.

The most recent painting has been completed and placed in Coyote Ridge Library, which is operated by the Washington State Library. The painters responsible for the great scenes and murals at the CRCC Library are currently Lars Snow, Tony Engles, Dane Bowers, and Mike Sandvigen.

The motif covers some popular themes, including Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Star Wars, and Lord of The Rings. Above is a photo of the artwork put up recently in the library. Many staff at CRCC and the offenders enjoy the work done by the paint/model crew.

“All Institutional Library Services branches strive to be positive environments where patrons feel welcome,” said Anna Nash, an institutional librarian for the State Library. “The addition of artwork to the library will, no doubt, be appreciated by the individuals at the Coyote Ridge branch and will add to the positive environment with images from their favorite series.”

The library at Coyote Ridge is one of many branch libraries throughout Washington operated by the State Library.

Digital Archives reaches 180 million records! ?>

Digital Archives reaches 180 million records!

Digital archives

The Washington State Digital Archives has been a source of pride for our office since opening in 2004. It’s the nation’s first archives dedicated specifically to preserving electronic records from state and local government agencies that have legal, fiscal or historical value.

The Digital Archives hit a major milestone last year when it received its 150 millionth record. Last Friday, the DA reached another milestone when it took in its 180 millionth document. The document is from Island County Superior Court Case Files, 1982-2015. It’s from a 2008 probate case. You can view it here.

At the rate it receives digitized records, the Digital Archives likely will hit the 200 million mark sometime early in 2017. This July alone, it’s received more than 777,000 records!

Besides holding millions of records, the Digital Archives possesses many fun, cool and classic photo collections from Washington’s past. It also has a wide variety of other collections to peruse, as well as genealogy resources.

The Digital Archives is located on the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney, sharing a building with the Eastern branch of the State Archives.

I-1501, I-1464 sponsors turn in signatures ?>

I-1501, I-1464 sponsors turn in signatures

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I-1464 supporters bring boxes of signatures into the Elections Division office.

Two initiative campaigns delivered signatures to the state Elections Division in Olympia Friday afternoon, the last of four measures to bring in petition sheets before the turn-in deadline. All brought in a substantial pad and are considered likely to make the statewide fall ballot, along with a pair of initiatives to the Legislature.  Six initiatives will be an unusually large number for Washington.

Initiative 1501 sponsors submitted around 322,000 signatures Friday. I-1501 would increase penalties for criminal identity theft and consumer fraud targeting seniors and vulnerable individuals.

Soon after the I-1501 team left, Initiative 1464 sponsors arrived with more than 326,000 signatures. I-1464 would create a state-funded campaign finance program.

Friday was the deadline to submit signatures for initiatives to the people filed this year.

Sponsors for I-1433 (raising state’s minimum wage) turned in over 400,000 signatures in separate installments Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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One of the boxes of signatures for I-1501.

On Thursday, Initiative 1491 backers submitted about 304,000 signatures Thursday, and they brought in about 31,000 more Friday for a total exceeding 335,000. I-1491 would allow police, family, or household members to obtain court orders temporarily preventing firearms access by persons exhibiting mental illness, violent or other behavior indicating they may harm themselves or others.

The Elections Division recommends that initiative sponsors submit at least (more…)

Sponsors turn in signatures for firearms initiative ?>

Sponsors turn in signatures for firearms initiative

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I-1491 supporters deliver boxes of signatures to the Elections Division Thursday.

About 304,000 signatures for Initiative 1491 were submitted to the state Elections Division office in Olympia Thursday morning, the second of five initiatives expected to be delivered there this week. Friday is the deadline to submit signatures for initiatives to the people filed this year.

I-1491 would allow police, family or household members to obtain court orders temporarily preventing firearms access by persons exhibiting mental illness, violent or other behavior indicating they may harm themselves or others.

I-1491 sponsors indicate they will bring in additional signatures on Friday for a total surpassing 330,000. If enough signatures are submitted, the measure will undergo a 3 percent random sample check instead of a review of all submitted signatures. Based on history, it’s likely I-1491 will earn a place on the fall ballot, officials said.

The Elections Division recommends that initiative sponsors submit at least 325,000 signatures to provide a cushion to cover duplicate or invalid signatures. The average error rate is 18 percent.

Three more initiatives are scheduled to turn in signatures to Elections on Friday: I-1515 (gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms), I-1501 (increasing penalties for criminal identity theft and consumer fraud targeting seniors and vulnerable individuals) and I-1464 (creating a state-funded campaign finance program). UPDATE: The I-1515 campaign notified our Elections Division late Thursday afternoon that it won’t bring in signatures, so that measure will not appear on the fall ballot.  

On Wednesday, sponsors for I-1433 (raising state’s minimum wage) said they turned in slightly more than 360,000 signatures, with 28,000 more arriving Thursday.

As the initiative petitions arrive, an Elections Division crew does a preliminary check, looking for any obvious problems or potential fraud, repairing any damaged petitions and counting the number of petition sheets. The complete set of signatures for that initiative is sent to the State Archives for scanning and an electronic version is returned to Elections for verification. During the week of July 11, a crew will do prep work of all initiatives filed, including identification of the names to be checked under random sampling. A computer program generates the random selection.

Beginning the week of July 18, a second team will begin scrutiny of each identified signature, looking to make sure the person is a registered Washington voter and that the signature matches the one on file. Any duplicates are also noted. The process takes three or four days for each initiative. The initiatives are generally processed in the order received.

If an initiative campaign does not submit enough signatures to allow random sampling, all signatures must be checked, at least until the number of signatures drops below the bare minimum to get on the ballot, 246,372.

At least two shifts of workers will be needed this year.

Two other citizen-generated measures, Initiatives to the Legislature 732 (carbon taxes) and 735 (opposing Citizen United court decision), already have qualified for the fall ballot.

Go here to view all of the initiatives to the people filed this year.