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Earlier election season being instituted this year

Election season is coming earlier than normal starting this year, with the primary election taking place on the first Tuesday in August instead of the third Tuesday as it has the past few years.

According to the office of the Washington Secretary of State, the state's Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 7, this year.

As a result, other deadlines related to the election season will be sooner as well.

Counties were required to mail primary election ballots to military and overseas voters by Saturday, June 23, including ballots issued electronically (by email).

The last day to bring in initiative petitions is Friday, July 6. The secretary of state anticipates two measures will be submitted: I-1185 (Tim Eyman's initiative to preserve the requirement that two-thirds of the members in each legislative chamber vote "yes" to raise taxes or fees) and I-1240 (authorizing the creation of charter schools in Washington).

The deadline to register to vote in the primary election is Monday, July 9. This is for voters who have not yet registered and includes online and mail-in registrations, as well as voter registration updates. Voters who miss this deadline can still register in person until Monday, July 30, at their local county elections office.

Voters can confirm their registration is up-to-date or update it by going to http://yakimacounty.us/vote and clicking on "Voter Registration Lookup."

Counties are required to mail out primary election ballots by Friday, July 20.

To check other dates on the election calendar, visit the Secretary of State's website at http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/calendar.aspx.

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