Our network


Genetically-modified food initiative certified, Day of Action planned by proponents

Genetically-modified food initiative certified, Day of Action planned by proponents


Although turnout should be quite low, political action groups around Washington state are gearing up for a fight surrounding a food-labeling initiative slated to be on November's ballot.

Initiative 522, also known as “The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act”, “would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale,” according to a news release from Brian Zylstra, spokesman for secretary of state office.

I-522 turned in 353,153 signatures with an error rate of 17.02 percent, which is “slightly less than the historic average.”

Now that the initiative has been certified and will be on the ballot, its campaign is organizing events to bring awareness to the community. Michelle Kim, field organizer for Food & Water Watch Spokane is inviting everyone to come to a Day of Action outside of Main Market Co-op (44 W. Main Ave.) to learn more about the initiative.

Sen. Murray issues statement about PTSD review


Washington Senator Patty Murray responded to Secretary of the Army John McHugh's completion of the army-wide PTSD examination by saying more still needs to be done for vet mental health.

“Murray pushed for the review after hundreds of service members at Joint Lewis-McChord had their PTSD diagnoses taken away then, in many cases, restored over the past two years,” read a news release.

Read the senator's full statement below:


“While I’m pleased that the Army has announced they have completed this study, it’s far more important that they take quick action to remedy the problem. The Pentagon should also follow through on their commitment to extend this review to all branches of the military so servicemembers aren’t slipping through the cracks. In the coming weeks I will be meeting with Secretary McHugh to get the specific recommendations that came out of the study.

Republicans of Spokane County to meet to discuss gun control, other key issues

Republicans of Spokane County to meet to discuss gun control, other key issues


The Republicans of Spokane County announced they will be meeting after the weekend to discuss key issues.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich will speak about gun control “addressing the proposed gun legislation and other relevant issues.”

Dick Leland, deputy for Cathy McMorris Rodgers, will speak about the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Michael Cathcart, director of government affairs at Spokane Home Builders Association, will discuss Proposition 2, which will appear on February's ballot. Prop 2 regards a “taxpayer protection policy at the city level.” A “yes” vote would mean that a supermajority of city council votes would be necessary to raise taxes.

The group will be meeting Monday, Jan. 21 at the Quality Inn I-90 and Argonne.

3.3 million voters' pamphlets in the mail

3.3 million voters' pamphlets in the mail

About 3.3 million voters' pamphlets will arrive to households across the state this week.

According to the Assosicated Press, the secretary of state's office says the pamphlets are being delivered around the same time voters are receiving their ballots for next month's election.

There are 26 editions of the pamphlet to account for races in different counties, plus pamphlets in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. The biggest pamphlets are more than 240 pages.

The pamphlets include information on races for president, governor, Congress, the state Supreme Court and Legislature as well as ballot measures concerning legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage and authorizing charter schools.

McMorris Rodgers hosting Spokane town hall meeting

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be in the Spokane area and she wants to hear from the public. 

According to a spokesman for Rep. McMorris Rodgers,  the Congresswoman will be continuing her tour of town hall meetings by hosting a meeting Spokane on Thursday.

The meeting will give citizens a changes to express their opinion on critical issues including jobs, government spending, health care, energy and national security with the Congresswoman. 

The town hall will be at The Lincoln Center located at 1316 N. Lincoln, starting at 6 p.m.

This is just one of many town hall meeting Rep. McMorris Rodgers has done in Eastern Washington. She has hosted open forums in Dayton, Walla Walla, Newport and Republic.

Elections office hoping for more ballot returns

It’s primary-eve in Spokane County and ballot returns are still low. About 23% of registered voters have returned their ballots, but that’s still a bit slow since tomorrow is election day. In the past two years they’ve seen between 26-42% voter turnout.

Voter turnout in legislative district four was leading for awhile, but now district six leads in that department. Overall, voters in Fire District 9 have returned the most percentage of ballots out of anybody.

Spokane County Auditor Vicki Dalton says voter turnout tends to pick up when there’s an interesting election race happening. Current events will push people to get their ballots in early.

Dalton added that they’re getting a couple calls into the elections office from voters asking for information about candidates. Since a voters guide is not printed during the primary to save on costs, they have to direct people to an online version.

If you haven’t already, turn in that ballot. You can drop it off at any library with a drop box until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Voter turnout low in Spokane County

With less than a week away from the August primary election, Spokane County is nowhere close to the average voter turnout expected. Only 16.33% of voters have turned in their ballots.

The average turnout for the past five years, which includes one presidential election, is 36%, but at this point, voters are nowhere close to reaching that average. This doesn’t mean voter turnout won’t average out in the next couple of days.

This is actually the earliest August primary ever because Secretary of State Sam Reed requested the earlier date to accommodate military and overseas voters. New state laws also require ballots go out to registered voters 45 days before an election.

Reed calls this primary a watershed election year which means the results from this year’s election will decide the state’s politics for years to come.

Here’s today’s voter turnout statistics provided by Spokane County Elections Office: