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Flynn OK with election reforms

Kitsap County Auditor Karen Flynn welcomes the election reform measures now under consideration by the Washington state Legislature, but feels measures intended to hold the state primary just two weeks earlier won’t provide the needed improvements.

“It’s important that they move the primary back at least a month to the third week in August,” she said. “The current amendment that moves it back just too weeks doesn’t give us enough time.”

Flynn said that recent elections have been closer and more contentious, with an increase of challenges to the results. For this reason, Flynn said, the six weeks between the state primary and general election are increasingly inadequate.

“All kinds of challenges are coming up,” she said. “And we never have time to get them resolved before we send out the general election ballots. Even without any challenges we barely have time to get the ballots out.”

One group that suffers at the hands of the short deadline is military personnel.

“The armed services likes to give service people 45 days to get their ballot completed and returned,” Flynn said. “As it stands, we only have 40 days, and this includes 15 days after the election.”

Flynn hopes the Legislature will build enough time into the process, so they don’t have to do it all again after the next major election.

“When there is a close primary you may not have the results for five to seven days afterwards,” she said. “While this is an inconvenience to us and our need to print up the general election ballots quickly, it is also unfair to the candidates. They have less time to state their positions and get people to support them.”

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