News from the Washington Office of the Secretary of State

Secure pathways to donate to Maui wildfire relief; election certification

OLYMPIA — A secure portal operated by the Office of Secretary of State provides all Washington residents, public employees, and state retirees a one-stop way to donate to Maui relief efforts.

The Disaster Relief Center, a special project of the Secretary of State’s Combined Fund Drive charity fundraising program, provides links for one-time donations by credit cards or, for state and other public employees, payroll or retirement deductions to benefit each donor’s choice of verified relief organizations aiding Maui residents, first responders, healthcare efforts, and more.

More than 110 people have been killed and hundreds more are missing due to the devastating August wildfires across Maui, which demolished the historic town of Lahaina and destroyed more than 2,000 homes, businesses, and other buildings.

“The disaster that has affected so much of Maui has astonished and saddened people throughout Washington,” Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said. “There is a deep desire to help, and this secure donations portal provides a pathway for Washingtonians’ generosity to benefit causes that are on the ground and doing good work.”

The Disaster Relief Center website, accessible via, aids crisis-relief charities during periods of natural or humanitarian disasters that exceed a region’s capacity to provide help. The website has previously been used to donations for organizations that work with the victims of mass shootings and international aid groups responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Primary election certification sets stage for November General Election

OLYMPIA — Certification of the August 1 Primary has been completed, setting the stage for November’s general election in counties across Washington.

More than 1.1 million voters statewide participated in the August Primary, a 28.9% turnout by voters in the 36 counties which held an election. Issues on voters’ ballots included city and county elected offices, school and fire district positions, and local ballot proposals.

“The August Primary was very well run in counties across the state,” Secretary of State Steve Hobbs said. “Now our work turns to getting voters informed and motivated to make their voices heard in the November General Election.”

The August primary was Washington’s first election in which voters statewide could sign up for text updates as their ballots were received and accepted by county elections offices. This new feature of Washington elections can be enabled by adding a cellphone number to a new or existing voter registration via or in person at a county elections office.

More than 35% of the 10,980 voters making new registrations and updates to existing registrations in the month before the Primary chose to enable text messaging.

“Getting a text message when your ballot is processed adds transparency and trust in our system,” Secretary Hobbs said. “This new communication is also a valuable instant alert when a voter has forgotten to sign their ballot envelope, or when that signature doesn’t match, and the voter needs to contact the county elections office to make their voice heard.”

Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

– WA Office of the Secretary of State