Washington voters to decide on president, governor and dozens more

Washington voters to decide on president, governor and dozens more
King County ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 presidential election. (KIRO 7 News)

SEATTLE — Voters are deciding on scores of federal and state races ranging from president to governor to local legislative districts.

A record number of voters in Washington have already returned their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s election.

>>See live election results as we get them

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Nearly 73% of the state’s more than 4.8 million registered voters had already cast their ballots as of Monday night, and voters have until 8 p.m. to drop their ballots off almost 500 drop-off boxes or voting centers around the state or by mail with an Election Day postmark.

Four years ago, about 53% of voters had returned their ballots by the day before the election.

Race for president

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden made their closing arguments Monday to crowds in swing states, hours before voters head to the polls to choose the nation’s next president.

Trump made five campaign stops on Monday speaking to thousands at airports in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Biden traveled to Pennsylvania where he addressed voters at a “drive-in” campaign stop where voters stayed in their cars to listen to Biden’s speech and honked their horns to show approval.

After all is said and done on Tuesday, we may not know who won the election for days.

The president says he’s planning an aggressive legal strategy to try prevent Pennsylvania from counting mailed ballots that are received in the three days after the election.

The deadline for receiving and counting absentee ballots is in the battleground state is Friday, an extension ordered by Pennsylvania’s top court. But it’s not clear what other legal issues may arise on Election Day.

Since the 2000 presidential election, which was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, both parties have enlisted legal teams to prepare for the possibility that voting wouldn’t settle the contest.

While Biden has had a lead in the polls during most of the fall, the race has been tightening in the past two weeks.

Control of the Senate is at stake, too.

Washington state races to watch

Governor

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is seeking a third term, something the state hasn’t seen an incumbent governor do in more than 40 years. He’s facing off against Republican Loren Culp, police chief of the small town of Republic.

Lieutenant Governor

Two Democrats are in the race -- U.S. Rep. Denny Heck and state Sen. Marko Liias. Republican Joshua Freed is also running as a write-in candidate and did not make the top two positions in the primary election. Freed is a former mayor of Bothell.

Attorney General

Like Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson is also seeking a third term. Ferguson has been a part of a number of high-profile lawsuits against the Trump administration. His opponent, Republican Matt Larkin, is a former Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor and was endorsed by the Seattle Police Officers Guild.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Kim Wyman, a Republican, was first elected Secretary of State in 2012. If re-elected, this would be her third term. Democratic challenger Gael Tarleton is currently a member of the Washington House – representing Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard, Magnolia, and Queen Anne.

Referendum 90 – Sex education

Referendum 90 would require comprehensive sexual education to be taught to all public school students, including those in grades K-5, unless parents opt their children out.

3rd Congressional District

Republican incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler is in a tough reelection fight for the 3rd Congressional District in southwest Washington. She’s facing a challenge from Democratic political science professor Carolyn Long in the state’s most expensive congressional race this year, a rematch of the 2018 election.

Long has worked at WSU Vancouver for 25 years as a professor and in several administrative and leadership positions.

8th Congressional District

Democratic incumbent Kim Schier was elected in 2018 after Republican Dave Reichert retired. Schier became the first Democrat to win the district. She’s also in a tough reelection fight in the closely split district east of Seattle.

Her challenger, Jesse Jensen, is looking to flip the district back to Republican. Jensen is an Army veteran and former program manager at Microsoft and Amazon.

10th Congressional District

The district includes parts of Thurston, Pierce, and Mason counties. The seat was left open after incumbent U.S. Rep Denny Heck ran for Lieutenant Governor.

Two Democrats are facing off for the position: Former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and State Rep. and climate activist Beth Doglio.

King County Charter Amendments 5 & 6

Amendment 5 would return the King County Sheriff to an appointed, rather than elected position.

Amendment 6 would allow the King County Council to determine the duties of the sheriff.

The Associated Press contributed to this story