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If you're here, you want to be an informed voter — maybe you already are! 

This guide won't tell you who to vote for, but should help you make the choice for yourself. We're a nonprofit so we don't make political endorsements of any kind. What we do is publicly driven journalism.

What's at stake

Washington voters are about to choose a new Secretary of State, whose position oversees state elections, business licensing and ballot initiative process. The King County Prosecutor's office has four divisions: criminal, civil, child/family support and juvenile justice.

WA Secretary of State

The secretary of state oversees Washington's elections, business licensing and ballot initiative process. This year is a special election set to replace Kim Wyman, who stepped down to work on election security for the Biden administration. She was the last Republican to hold statewide office in Washington.

Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson refuses to pick a party for the race, saying we need citizens “who aren’t partisans — in the oversight of elections.” On her campaign website she has laid out detailed plans to enhance election security, with audits and independent testing, and voter access, including creating election centers for election days. Anderson touts her many years of experience as a Pierce County auditor, a seat to which she has been reelected for more than a decade. Before that, she served on the Tacoma City Council. Anderson is endorsed by elected officials from the left and right. Here’s what she and other election officials told Crosscut ahead of the 2020 ballot deadline. Anderson has more than $136,000 in the bank. Read more about the secretary of state race on Crosscut.

Steve Hobbs

After being appointed by the governor to the seat late last year, Steve Hobbs now has to go before voters to keep the position. He got the job after Kim Wyman stepped down to work on election security in the Biden administration. She was the last Republican to hold statewide office in Washington. Before his appointment to oversee the state’s elections, Hobbs served in the state Senate, where chaired the Transportation Committee. The moderate Democrat plans to make combating election falsehoods and improving security key focuses of his office. He served in the U.S. Army and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard. Earlier this year, he outlined his plan to Crosscut. Hobbs is endorsed by a long list of Democratic elected officials and unions. He has more than $350,000 in the bank for the race. Read more about the secretary of state race on Crosscut.

Mark Miloscia

Republican Mark Miloscia is eyeing the secretary of state position. Miloscia served seven terms in the Washington House  as a Democrat before switching parties during his run for the state Senate in 2014. He has written about his distrust of the national election system. Until recently, the former U.S. Air Force officer was executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, a conservative Christian organization. He wants to see Voter ID regulations (but doesn’t mention how that might work with mail-in ballots) and not allowing voters to register at the polls when they come in to vote. He has raised about $45,000 for the race, $4,000 of which came from a personal loan. Read more about the secretary of state race on Crosscut.

Keith L. Wagoner

Also running for Secretary of State  is state Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro Woolley, whose district includes parts of Snohomish, Skagit and King counties. Wagoner touts his experience, such as his previous mayorship Sedro Woolley and his 23-year career in the U.S. Navy.

Wagoner sponsored legislation this year – which got a hearing in the senate but didn’t advance – intended to boost voter confidence in elections. The bill would have given the Washington State Patrol authority to make checks of some voter signatures on ballots and then compare them against existing signatures.

Wagoner has been endorsed by the King County Republican Party, state Senate Minority Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, and the two GOP secretaries of state who preceded Wyman: Sam Reed and Ralph Munro. He has raised about $36,000.

King County Prosecuting Attorney

The County Prosecutor provides legal services to the local government and prosecutes felonies within King County. The office has four divisions: criminal, civil, child/family support and juvenile justice.

Jim Ferrell

Jim Ferrell, a former deputy prosecuting attorney, is running to replace retiring King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. During part of his 16 years in the office, Ferrell supervised the county’s domestic violence court. He says he believes in “second chances, but not revolving doors, where the same criminals are repeatedly committing the same crimes.” He wants to see the restorative justice programs reformed to exclude serious felony crimes — such as bringing a gun to school — and more detailed tracking of those cases. Ferrell’s endorsements skew toward police unions, but he has also received support from half a dozen other labor unions. Like the other candidate in the nonpartisan race, Ferrell identifies as a Democrat. He has about $152,000 in the bank for his campaign.

Leesa Manion

With King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg’s upcoming retirement, his long-time chief of staff, Leesa Manion, wants the job. Before being appointed as chief of staff, she spent seven years as deputy chief of staff and four years as a deputy prosecuting attorney. Her priorities include working to reduce crime and recidivism with crime prevention strategies including diversion and alternatives to incarceration. According to the state Attorney General’s Office, she played a large role in establishing the prosecuting attorney’s elder abuse program. While the position of county prosecuting attorney is nonpartisan, Manion identifies as a Democrat. She has collected endorsements from most of the local Democratic groups, while gaining support from labor unions and progressive organizations. She has raised more than $137,000 for the race.

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