Mason County Elections

Mason County Local Voters’ Pamphlet Administrative Rules

Adopted April 14, 2021 – printable pdf version

Purpose

The purpose of these Administrative Rules is to establish the rules and requirements for participation, production and distribution of the local voters’ pamphlet

1. Notice of Intent to Publish a Local Voters’ Pamphlet (RCW 29A.32.220)

The Auditor’s office shall prepare a local voters’ pamphlet for all primaries, general and special elections.

2. Inclusion in the Local Voters’ Pamphlet (RCW 29A.32.220)

All districts with a race or measure on the ballot in a primary or election in which a local voters’ pamphlet is produced will participate in the local voters’ pamphlet. Submissions from federal, state and judicial candidates with the exception of district court judges will not be published in the local voters’ pamphlet. By statute, precinct committee officers are not eligible to submit statements.

3. Costs associated with the Local Voters’ Pamphlet (RCW 29A.32.220, RCW 29A.32.270)

The cost to produce, print and mail a local voters’ pamphlet is an election cost that is included when districts with a race or measure on the ballot are billed for their portion of the cost of the election.

If a district believes that the costs of inclusion in the voters’ pamphlet would create an undue financial hardship, the district may petition the Board of County Commissioners to exclude the district’s measures and candidates from the pamphlet. The petition must be submitted to the Commission at least 60 days prior to the publication of the next pamphlet and will include all elections for the following two years. A district receiving a waiver for local voters’ pamphlet costs will continue to be responsible for their remaining portion of the cost of the election. If a district has been granted a waiver, the Auditor’s Office will note in the pamphlet that the district is not included at their request.

4. Local Voters’ Pamphlet Content (RCW 29A.32.241)

The local voters’ pamphlet shall include at a minimum:

  • A cover page containing the words “Official Local Voters’ Pamphlet,” “Mason County,” the county seal, and the date of the primary or election;
  • A list of districts that have measures or candidates in the pamphlet. This may be in the form of a Table of Contents or Index.
  • Information on how a person may register to vote and obtain a ballot.
  • The text of each measure accompanied by an explanatory statement prepared by the prosecuting attorney for any county measure(s) or by the attorney for the local district submitting the measure(s).
  • Arguments for and against each measure submitted by committees pursuant to RCW 29A.32.280. Note that it is the legal responsibility of the district placing a measure on the ballot to prepare the arguments in accordance with the above statute.
  • Statements and photos submitted by eligible candidates in races on the ballot.

District Submissions

1. Deadlines

The Auditor’s Office will establish deadlines at least 30 calendar days before filing deadlines.

  • The Auditor’s Office will notify districts of information on district submissions including word limits, due dates, submission requirements at least 30 days calendar days before filing deadlines.
  • Mason County will publish submissions in reference to measures from the Elma or McCleary School Districts as approved by the Grays Harbor County Auditor.

2. Formatting Rules

  • Only italics will be used to emphasize words or phrases. Bolding, underlining, and all caps are not allowed.
  • Tables, lists, and bullets are not allowed.
  • Graphs, charts, photographs, cartoons or caricatures are not permitted.
  • Text must be written in paragraphs.
  • The Auditor’s Office will not correct errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation.
  • The Auditor reserves the right to edit the formatting of any of the submissions.

3. Ballot Measure Explanatory Statements (RCW 29A.32.230, RCW 29A.32.241)

An explanatory statement addresses the anticipated effect of a measure if passed into law. The statement may be no more than 200 words and must be prepared by the attorney for the district submitting the proposition or measure. A letter from the district’s attorney confirming they prepared and approve the explanatory statement is required.

If there is no letter from the district’s attorney or if a district does not retain legal counsel for the review, the statement will be submitted to the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review and final discretion on language.

4. Ballot Measure Argument (For/Against) Committees (RCW 29A.32.230, RCW 29A.32.241)

All committee appointments shall be submitted by the deadline to submit measures and resolutions.

Each committee shall identify a chair who will serve as the primary contact for the Auditor’s Office.

5. Ballot Measure Arguments (For/Against)

Candidate Submissions

1. Deadlines

  • The Auditor’s Office will establish deadlines at least 30 days before candidate filing.
  • Candidates will be provided information on candidate submissions including word limits, due dates, submission requirements, and the appeals process at the time of filing for office.

2. Formatting Rules

3. Eligible Candidates – Only local candidate submissions will be published in the local voters’ pamphlet.

5. Statement – – Candidates may provide a 200 word statement

6. Candidate Photo

7. Public Inspection of Candidate Statements

Candidate submissions that have been submitted for publication in the local voters’ pamphlet shall not be available for release to the public until all submissions pertaining to the race have been received. Requests for public inspection shall be made in the same manner as requests for public records.

8. Rejection of Arguments or Statements (RCW 29A.32.230)

9. Format and distribution of the Local Voters’ Pamphlet

The Auditor’s Office retains complete control over content and format of the pamphlet and may print the pamphlet in combination with the Secretary of State Voters’ Pamphlet. If the Auditor’s Office produces the pamphlet in combination with the state, the requirements of RCW 29A.32 and these rules will be adhered to as much as is practical.