The Yakima City Council may yet appeal a federal court ruling that the city’s current election system violates the federal Voting Rights Act, but not for now. The council met in executive session for an hour Thursday morning with attorneys to discuss the city’s options. The city can either appeal the ruling, offer its own plan for a new elections system, or work with the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit, to attempt a compromise plan. After the closed-door meeting, which is allowed under state law to discuss legal action, Yakima Mayor Micah Cawley announced before gaveling the meeting to a close that the city would comply with the judge’s order. Cawley’s phrasing brought a stunned reaction from the small audience in attendance, who took it to mean the city would not appeal. Cawley later clarified that the city is still leaving its options open. “We’re not giving up any of our rights,” Cawley said after the meeting. “We’re going to comply with the judge’s order.”
State election officials learned Wednesday they won’t be getting an extra $1 million to cover the costs of a special election to replace U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee. Lawmakers did not include any money in the state budget they passed Wednesday before adjourning and heading home. House and Senate budget writers of both parties discussed adding a proviso into the budget to cover some or all of the estimated expenses but couldn’t reach agreement, said Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “It was a last-minute thing. It was the last day,” Murray said. “It was a large number and there was no time to scrub it.”
Jay Inslee and Sam Reed are both right. A special election to pick a replacement for Inslee in the 1st Congressional District could cost state taxpayers close to $1 million, as Secretary of state Reed says. But the extra election won’t cost that much, as Inslee says. “The overall cost (of the 2012 election) doesn’t change,” Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington said. Well, it changes a little, he said. Putting another choice on the primary and general election ballots adds maybe $5,000 to each election in Kitsap County. But while the overall bill is pretty much staying the same, the state is required to pick up a little more of the tab because it is a special election.
Washington: Details from political dust-up over “costs” of special election to replace Jay Inslee | News Tribune
Why would it cost $1 million to have a special election to fill the final six weeks of Jay Inslee‘s term in Congress? The answer may be that it doesn’t. But that wasn’t the first question asked today. That designation went to Washington State Republicans who held a press event at the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee’s Seattle campaign headquarters. In an event titled “Send Inslee the Invoice,” state GOP chairman Kirby Wilbur wants to know why Inslee won’t pay for the election he caused. Wilbur is trying to help the governor campaign of Republican Rob McKenna. Inslee triggered the issue when he resigned his seat in Congress to devote his time to the campaign for governor. The assumption was that the seat would go unfilled for the final eight months of the year and be filled by one of the people running to replace him in Congress. But Inslee resigned late enough so as not to trigger a stand-alone special election for his unexpired term. instead, whichever candidate won the full, two-year term would have taken office early to fill out Inslee’s unexpired term.
Washington: Partisan brawl over cost of special election for Inslee’s former congressional seat | Seattle Times
Republicans continue to pound Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee over the expense of the special election to pick a temporary replacement for the 1st District congressional seat he abandoned last month. State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur called a news conference Monday morning in downtown Seattle to demand that Inslee pay for the special election. “He could pay this bill, rather than stick it on taxpayers,” Wilbur said. Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office has estimated the special election could cost the state close to $1 million. But it turns out that figure is misleading. The bulk of that “cost” is merely a budgetary shift to the state from the three counties involved in the special election.