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Island County > Auditor > Elections > Online Voters' Guide Administrative Rules

2017 Administrative Rules for Candidates

Local Online Voters' Guide Timeline

 

Primary Election - August 1, 2017

General Election - November 7, 2017 

 

Specifications for Candidate and Issue Statements appearing in the Island County Online Voters' Guide   

Candidates may submit their statements and photographs electronically or in paper format.  Electronic submissions may be submitted online, delivered by disk, or emailed to: elections@co.island.wa.us. Provide the name of the candidate or committee on cds or state the committee's name in the subject line for email submissions. 

For candidates who file online, you will receive an email containing instructions to upload your statement and photograph.

Submissions may be mailed to: 

Island County Auditor - Elections
Local Online Voters’ Guide
P.O. Box 1410 ​
Coupeville, WA. 98239-1410

Submissions may be delivered to our office, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at:

Island County Auditor ’s Election Office
400 North Main Street
Coupeville, WA. 98239

 

Candidate Statements: 

The Online Voters' Guide has no submission deadline.  We strongly advise all candidate information be submitted not later than 45 days prior to the date of any election when Accessible Voting Equipment and ballots are available to voters at the Auditor's Elections Office.  NOTE:  Ballots are mailed to service and overseas voters 45 days prior to any Primary or General Election, submission of statements should take this into account.  The intent of the Online Voters' Guide is to provide information regarding measures and candidates to voters so they may make informed decisions. 

Candidate statements are limited to 250 words or less. Candidates are responsible for observing this limit. If the statement exceeds 250 words, all of the material in excess of the word limit will be omitted. If that deletion creates an incomplete sentence, the sentence will be omitted. To ensure fairness to all candidates, there is NO exception. 

The following guidelines apply to all statements: 

  • The candidate's name, address, phone number, email address and campaign website address, if included, shall appear at the top of the statement.  This information is not part of the word count.

  • In accordance with state law, any statements by a candidate should be limited to statements about himself or herself.  By law, the County Auditor is required to reject any statement that is libelous or otherwise inappropriate.

  • Use paragraph style. Lists of items that require multiple indentations may be reformatted by the Auditor due to space limitations.

  • Words, phrases, and sentences that are italicized, underlined, capitalized or emphasized in some other manner will be typeset in italic. We recommend that candidates avoid such usage as they reduce the readability of the statement.  Use a single font style.

  • Hyphenated words will count as two words, e.g. "user-friendly."

  • Numbers will count as one word, e.g. "4,000,000" or "4 million."

  • "Word/word" will count as two words, e.g. "public/private."

  • Submissions on paper should be typed, double spaced, on white, 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. Submissions by electronic media should be written in Microsoft Word or in the body of an email.

Photographs: 

Candidates may submit photographs in paper or electronic form to be included with their statements. For all photographs: 

  • Photographs cannot be more than five years old.

  • Any photographs that reveal clothing, uniform or insignia suggestive of holding public office are prohibited.

  • Photograph must be head and shoulders only.

  • Paper photographs should be glossy prints, color or black and white, not smaller than 3 x 5 inches or larger than 5 x 7 inches. Digital photographs must be either .tiff or .jpg format.

Editing of Statements: Candidates may upload their own statements and photographs electronically. The Auditor’s Office is not obligated to make  corrections to statements and assumes no responsibility for errors and/or inaccuracies in the original statement submitted directly  to the Online Voters' Guide by the candidate. 

In a document of this magnitude, it is inevitable that material submitted for publication may contain some inadvertent errors in spelling, punctuation or syntax which could adversely affect the readability of the statement and improperly reflect on the candidate. We encourage candidates or committees to spellcheck and proofread statements before submittal and to cc themselves when submitting a statement online. 

Unacceptable Statements: If any portion of the candidate’s statement is rejected, only the rejected portion may be re-written and re-submitted for inclusion in the statement. 

Candidates will be notified in writing if their statement or any portion thereof contains what the Auditor believes are libelous statements or otherwise inappropriate material. Candidates will have until the day following the Auditor’s notice to either (1) appeal that determination citing reasons why the candidate believes that the statement is not libelous or otherwise inappropriate, or (2) resubmit a re-written statement for the portion found objectionable. The County Canvassing Board shall consider any appeal. After consideration of the Auditor’s written notice and the candidate’s appeal statement, the Canvassing Board will make a final determination. 

Viewing of Statements:  Statements become a public record when received and are available upon request at that time from our office. Candidates should understand anything they submit may appear or be referenced in a publication other than the Island County Online Voters' Guide or printed Voters' Pamphlet.   

The Online Voters’ Guide will be available on the Island County website.   The printed Voters' Pamphlet will be distributed statewide by the Secretary of State's Office prior to the November General Election.  

Specifications for Ballot Measure Statements appearing in the Island County Online Voters' Guide 

Deadline for Submission of Statements: Upon the change to an Online Voters Guide, deadlines were eliminated.  We strongly advise all information pertaining to ballot measures and advocacy statements be submitted not later than 45 days prior to the date of any election when Accessible Voting Equipment and ballots are available at the Auditor's Elections Office.   

Ballot measures for districts that are included in the Island County Online Voters’ Guide shall consist of: (1) the official ballot title of the measure; (2) a neutrally-worded explanatory statement written by that district’s attorney; and (3) statements of advocacy committees for and against approval. Advocacy committees for approval and rejection shall be appointed by the legislative body of the district submitting the ballot measure to the voters. The district must make a good faith effort to find an individual or individuals or a group to be a committee in favor of the measure and a committee opposed to the measure. Persons who contact the Auditor’s office requesting an opportunity to submit either a pro or a con statement on a measure will have their name/organization forwarded to the appropriate legislative body .  Rebuttal statements may be submitted by the opposing committees for inclusion in the Online Voters' Guide.   

If no neutrally-worded statement written by the district’s attorney and if no pro or con statements are submitted, the ballot title and the names of legislative body requesting the proposition will be the only information provided in the Online Voters’ Guide. 

Explanatory Statement of District's Attorney

The attorney for the district submitting a ballot measure shall prepare and submit to the Auditor a statement for inclusion in the Online Voters’ Guide. The statement shall consist of the following three parts: (1) the official ballot title of the measure prepared by the prosecuting attorney or city attorney; (2) a neutrally-worded statement written by the district’s attorney explaining the law regarding the ballot measure as it currently exists; and (3) a neutrally-worded statement written by the district’s attorney describing the effect that the ballot measure will have if it passes. The explanatory statement shall be prepared in clear and concise language and avoid the use of legal and other technical terms insofar as possible. 

Statements of Advocacy Committees

Ballot measure advocacy statements will be limited to 250 words or fewer. Committees are responsible for observing this limit. If the statement exceeds 250 words, all of the material in excess of the word limit will be omitted. If such a deletion creates an incomplete sentence, the sentence will be omitted. There is NO exception to this.

Advocacy statements will only be posted for items when both the pro and con statements have been received.  

The following guidelines will apply to all statements: 

  • The advocacy committee's name and the contact person’s name, address, and phone number must appear at the top of the statement. (This is not part of the word count.)

  • Use paragraph style. Lists of items that require multiple indentations may be reformatted by the Auditor due to space limitations.

  • Words, phrases, and sentences that are italicized, underlined, capitalized or emphasized in some other manner will be typeset in italic. We recommend that committees avoid such exaggerations as they will reduce the readability of the statement.

  • Hyphenated words will count as two words, e.g. "user-friendly."

  • Numbers will count as one word, e.g. "4,000,000" or "4 million."

  • "Word/word" will count as two words, e.g. "public/private."

Submissions on paper should be typed, double spaced, on white, 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. Submissions by electronic media should be composed in Microsoft Word or in the body of an email.

Rebuttal Statements:  In order to maintain continuity standards, rebuttal statements may be submitted for inclusion in the online voters guide only by the assigned  opposing advocacy committee.   Rebuttals shall be limited to 250 words or fewer and may not interject new points.   

Content: By law, the County Auditor is required to reject any statement that is libelous or otherwise inappropriate. 

Editing of Statements: In a document of this magnitude, it is inevitable that the material submitted may contain some inadvertent errors in spelling, punctuation or syntax which could adversely affect the readability of the statement and improperly reflect on the committee.  The County Auditor will make no changes to the Explanatory Statement as prepared by the District's Attorney.  The County Auditor may correct such incidental errors as long as this does not affect the content of the statement. The Auditor’s Office is not obligated, however, to make such corrections and will assume no responsibility for errors which result from inaccuracies in the original statement submitted by the committee. 

Unacceptable Statements: If any portion of the committee’s statement is rejected, only that rejected portion may be re-written and submitted for inclusion in the statement. 

Committees will be notified in writing no later than the Monday following the deadline for submission of advocacy committee statements if their statement, or any portion thereof, contains what the Auditor believes are libelous statements or otherwise inappropriate material. Committees will have until the day following the Auditor’s notice to either (1) appeal that determination citing reasons why the committee believes that the statement is not libelous or otherwise inappropriate, or (2) resubmit a re-written portion of their statement. The County Canvassing Board shall consider any appeals. After consideration of the Auditor’s written notice and the committee’s appeal statement, the County Canvassing Board will make a final determination. 

Fees:  No fee shall be charged to committees submitting material to be included in the Online Voters’ Guide. 

Viewing of Statements: Statements become  a public record when received and are available upon request  at that time from our office. Committees should understand that anything they submit may appear  or be referenced in a publication other than the  Island County Online Voters’  Guide.     
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