Facts and key dates
Washington voters in the Nov. 6 election will decide on four statewide ballot initiatives, one U.S. Senate race, 10 U.S. House races, half of the state Senate seats, all of the state House seats and dozens of other local issues and races.
Use this page to explore key races and learn more about what's on the ballot.
Here's some helpful information to get you started:
- The election is mail-only, though counties provide accessible voting sites for people with disabilities who need assistance completing their ballots.
- Ballots must be postmarked, put in a drop box or returned in person to your county elections department by 8 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 6. Be sure to sign the ballot envelope.
- Ballots are postage paid. You don’t need a stamp to mail it to your county’s elections office.
Oct. 19 – Deadline for ballots to be mailed to voters. Ballots should arrive no later than Oct. 25. Oct. 29 – Deadline for new in-person state voter registration.
- Nov. 6 – General election.
Get a ballot: If you lost your ballot or never received one, in King County go to kingcounty.gov/elections or call 206-296-8683. In Snohomish County, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-388-3444. In Kitsap County, email email@example.com or 360-337-7128.
Initiative 940, police use of deadly force
I-940 would make it easier to prosecute law-enforcement officers accused of wrongful use of deadly force. Washington’s current law is considered the nation’s most restrictive in terms of holding officers legally accountable for unjustified deadly force. It also would require law enforcement to receive training in violence de-escalation, mental health and first aid.
Initiative 1631, levies a carbon fee
This measure would charge pollution fees on sources of greenhouse-gas pollutants and use the revenue to reduce pollution, promote clean energy and address climate impacts, under oversight of a public board.
Cars and trucks move along Interstate 5 in Lakewood, Pierce County. (Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press, 2016)
- Flyer citing Latino businesses' opposition to carbon fee ignites campaign controversy
- How much would I-1631's carbon fee cost you? That depends
- Oil refiners invest millions to fight carbon-fee initiative — and would see big payoff if their campaign wins
- Is the proposed carbon fee flawed? Listen to the arguments for and against it
- Carbon-fee opponents raise record $25.8M to defeat I-1631
- Bill Gates backs Initiative 1631 to fight ‘toughest problem humanity has ever faced’
- As Washington debates carbon fee, one oil giant is opposed but another is silent; what’s that about?
- Michael Bloomberg gives $1M to Washington’s I-1631 carbon-fee campaign
- Who would pay a state carbon fee on November ballot, and who gets a pass?
- Washington’s proposed carbon tax: Smart move in a scary time | Jon Talton
Initiative 1634, bans soda and grocery taxes
Backed by the soda-pop industry, I-1634 would ban local taxes on any food or beverage or ingredient intended for human consumption. It would not repeal Seattle’s sweetened-beverage tax that took effect in January.
(Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)
Initiative 1639, restrictions on semi-automatic rifles
I-1639 would boost the legal age to buy a semi-automatic rifle to 21 and require those who want such a weapon to pass an enhanced background check, take a firearms-training course and wait 10 business days after purchase to take possession of the gun. It also would require gun owners to keep their firearms secured at home. Gun-rights supporters say the initiative would criminalize law-abiding firearm owners, make it nearly impossible for adults under 21 to defend themselves with a gun, jeopardize gun-owners’ privacy and do little to reduce crime.
(Seth Perlman / AP)
- Q&A: What would Initiative 1639, the proposed gun regulations measure, do?
- State law-enforcement groups oppose firearms Initiative 1639, but top King County officials support it
- I-1639 the most ambitious effort at gun regulation in Washington state’s history
- Washington’s I-1639 would implement some of the nation’s most stringent gun-control laws
- Push for gun-storage laws continues as King County approves ordinance and voters weigh in on I-1639
8th Congressional District
Democrat Kim Schrier and Republican Dino Rossi square off in a race that has attracted big campaign spending by national political groups. Voters in the 8th District have never sent a Democrat to Congress. The winner will replace U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, who is retiring.
(Kim Schrier, left, Dino Rossi, right. / Courtesy of campaigns)
- Ardent, disaffected and yearning for the middle: Voters in 8th District search their conscience
- 8th Congressional District candidate Kim Schrier disputes ads claiming she would raise middle-class taxes
- ‘A squeaky tight race’: Kim Schrier and Dino Rossi push supporters to mail ballots early
- A record-setting flood of outside money pushes Dino Rossi-Kim Schrier congressional race over $25M mark
- National environmental group buys $1 million in ads against Dino Rossi
- 4 moments from the Rossi-Schrier debate you may hear more about
- Congressional candidates Dino Rossi and Kim Schrier clash in lone debate in Ellensburg
- Kim Schrier tries to make lack of political experience as asset in race with Dino Rossi
- Dino Rossi has done well in real estate, but his work is also fodder for campaign opponents
- Democratic congressional candidate Kim Schrier’s campaign skittish about Nancy Pelosi connections
- What did we learn from the NYT's live-action 8th Congressional District poll? A Q&A with Nate Cohn
- Kim Schrier ad links opponent to fugitive developer; that’s ‘sleazy garbage,’ answers Dino Rossi campaign
- Washington’s top Republican congressional candidates say they don’t need a Trump visit
Other congressional races
3rd Congressional District – Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is challenged by Democrat Carolyn Long in one of the Pacific Northwest’s most contested congressional races.
Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler, left, Democrat Carolyn Long, right. (Courtesy of campaigns)
5th Congressional District – Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking Republican in Congress, faces Democrat Lisa Brown, a former majority leader of the state Senate.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, left, Democrat Lisa Brown, right. (Courtesy of campaigns)
- Washington’s Democratic congressional candidates overwhelm Republicans in recent fundraising
- Podcast: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler faces political fight of her career vs. Carolyn Long
- Washington state primary election: GOP’s McMorris Rodgers, Herrera Beutler face tight races in November
- National attention comes to Southwest Washington’s 3rd District, where Herrera Beutler faces strong challenge
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is challenged by Susan Hutchison, the former KIRO-TV news anchor and ex-state GOP party chairman.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, left, and former Washington state GOP chair and TV anchor Susan Hutchison, right. (The Seattle Times / AP)
Control of the Legislature is at stake with all 98 House seats and 25 of the 49 Senate seats on the ballot.
The Legislative Building at the Capitol in Olympia. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
- Democrats outspending GOP in quest to boost numbers at the Washington Legislature
- Washington’s Legislature: Democrats could pick up 4 GOP seats in Senate
- State Sen. Maralyn Chase draws a serious challenger – fellow Democrat Jesse Salomon
- Beyond Seattle, legislative candidates try to woo voters with plans to ease housing costs
- Washington Democrats may win largest legislative majorities in a decade
Seattle Families and Education Levy
Seattle voters will soon decide whether doubling the city government's investment in public education is worth a property-tax hike.
(Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times)
Seattle Times endorsements
The editorial board is making recommendations for voters in select federal, state, and King and Snohomish county races. The board also is also making recommendations on some local measures and all statewide initiatives appearing on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot. Each candidate endorsement will explain our thinking, but generally we look for moderates with a commitment to work across party lines.
View all the editorial board’s endorsements for the 2018 general election below. Click here for the full endorsements page »