Questions about Aug. 17 primary? This might help

As the Aug. 17 primary election approaches, Elections Manager Mike Rooney of the Pierce County Auditor’s Office answers some common questions from voters.

1. I have not received my Vote-By-Mail Ballot? How can I obtain a replacement ballot?

By now, all voters should have received their ballot. If you have not received a ballot, visit or call the Elections Division at (253) 798-VOTE (8683) or 800-446-4979.

2. What’s the deadline for returning a ballot?

If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day, which is Tues., Aug. 17. Ballots can be dropped off at a drop box, express booth or on Election Day at any polling place. Ballots dropped off must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

3. I went to my express booth. Why wasn’t it open?

Express booths open Fri., Aug. 13. They will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day through Election Day. Drop boxes are available 24 hours a day until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

4. Will polling places be open?

Yes, polling places will be open in Pierce County for the Primary Election. Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 17.

5. Do I need to pick a party?

No. In each race you may vote for any candidate listed. Under the Top Two Primary, the two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary advance to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation.

6. I’m looking for positions like County Auditor and judicial offices. Why aren’t they on my ballot?

Partisan and nonpartisan offices are treated different. State law requires partisan offices to appear on the primary ballot regardless of how many candidates filed for the office. Nonpartisan offices such as Auditor and local judicial races only appear on the primary ballot if three or more candidates file for office. Only two candidates filed for the Pierce County Auditor’s race, so that position will appear on the General Election ballot. District Court and Tacoma Municipal Court judge positions will also appear on the General Election ballot as only one or two individuals filed for these offices.

7. The Office of Precinct Committee Officer appears on my ballot, but how come no candidates are listed?

No one filed for Precinct Committee Officer in your precinct. State law requires the ballot to contain a space for voters to cast a write-in vote. You may leave this office un-voted if you so choose.

8. Why are there puzzles in the voters’ pamphlet?

This year we chose to reach out to children and young adults to teach them about voting and elections. It is our hope that parents will talk to their kids and use this as a learning experience. We were able to include these pages at no additional cost.

9. Can I still to register to vote?

Mon., Aug. 9, is the last day to register in person at the Elections Division office. The office will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is for voters who are not currently registered in the State of Washington. It is too late to change your registration if you have moved.

For more information, visit or call (253) 798-VOTE (8683) or 800-446-4979 or e-mail .