State should put all offices on ballot

A divided Legislature might not agree on much, except when it comes to giving voters a choice over their elected officials. State lawmakers overwhelmingly agreed on a measure to ensure that voters can decide all contested offices during November general elections.

Under existing state law, if candidates for some judicial positions and the superintendent of public instruction received more than 50 percent of the vote in the August primary election, only that person’s name would appear on the general election ballot.

This occurred last year in some judicial races and in Dorn’s re-election.

Gov. Jay Inslee should sign this bill, which further extends our state’s Top 2 election system. From now on, the top two vote getters in the primary will compete in the general election.

It’s a sensible move because, historically, fewer voters cast a ballot in the primary. Important offices, such as our courts and the state’s chief education official, should be decided by the maximum number of informed voters. Many voters take summer vacations during campaigns for the August primary, and many others have simply tuned out politics.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman supports the reform, calling it “a smart improvement for the voters of Washington ... putting more emphasis on our important judicial races and our state school superintendent.”