2011 primary begins, with focus on local races



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — County election officials have started distributing ballots for this year’s primary election.

The ballots focus heavily on local races, and roughly one-quarter of registered voters won’t get a ballot because there areas do not have contested primaries. Ballots must be postmarked or turned in by August 16.

Secretary of State Sam Reed says turnout for these off-year elections is typically low, but he encourages voters to participate because the races can be pivotal to communities.

This is the first election that relies on all-mail voting in every counting. Pierce County was the last holdout.