Under the Washington State Constitution (Article 4, Section 29) and state statute (Revised Code of Washington (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.
State Executive Office - Nonpartisan
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 - Nonpartisan
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.
Court of Appeals Judge
- The same rules apply to Court of Appeals Judge as apply to Supreme Court Justice.
County Judicial Office - Nonpartisan
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.
- 100,000 residents include:
- 100,000 residents include:
District Court Judge
- Douglas County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction which hears civil, small claims, criminal cases, and traffic citations and cases.
City and Town Offices - Nonpartisan
- The Mayor and Council Members are elected.
Special Districts - Nonpartisan
- Commissioners acquire, improve and operate cemeteries. They also set a budget and establish fees and rules for cemetery use.
Fire Protection Districts
- Commissioners oversee districts that provide fire prevention services, fire suppression, emergency medical services and the protection of life and property in the county. With voter approval, they may issue bonds and make excess levies
Parks and Recreation Districts
- Parks district commissioners may acquire properties, make contracts, establish fees, make rules governing park properties, and manage and operate facilities. They may also impose property taxes, establish local improvement districts and issue revenue bonds.
Port of Douglas County
- Port districts levy taxes, promote economic development, create incidental park and recreation facilities, and adopt and enforce regulations for moorage and toll facilities. The commissioners set objectives, policies and overall port direction through comprehensive plans.
Public Utility District
- The Douglas County PUD was formed in 1936. Three Commissioners are elected to six-year terms, first from their District and then Countywide. Douglas County PUD provides water utility services throughout the county. PUDs are also authorized to provide wholesale telecommunications services, and with a vote of the people electricity and sewer utility services. The PUD also has tax levy authority.
- The Board of School District Directors oversees budget, policy development, curriculum approval, planning and communications for the school district. School Board Directors delegate authority for day-to-day functions to administrative staff at each of the schools within the district.