Archives For Voters For Tina

August 2nd, 2016

Seattle, WA – Although ballots are still coming in, it looks like Washington is again headed for another record low primary turnout under Kim Wyman’s watch.

Wyman’s failure to deliver on her promise to produce a printed statewide Primary Voter’s Guide contributed to this low voter turnout and as a result our democratic process is suffering. Voter guides are an important tool for voters to feel informed enough to vote.

“As your next Secretary of State, I will follow through on my proposals and deliver real results that will increase voter participation in this state,” said Tina Podlodowski. “Unlike Kim Wyman, I support the Washington Voting Rights Act and other policies to increase participation – including same day voter registration and postage-paid ballots. As the next Secretary of State I will deliver the results that Kim Wyman has been unable to successfully move forward.”

Today’s turnout is on track to be the lowest in a primary election in over a decade. Approx. 2.5 million registered Washingtonians will sit out this primary election because my opponent didn’t take enough action to engage them in the process. Approx. 1.3 million eligible Washingtonians won’t vote in this primary election – because my opponent didn’t work hard or smart enough to make sure they were registered.

“My opponent’s record of failures, from wasting $11.5 million on a meaningless presidential primary in May, to breaking her promise to produce primary voter guides for all voters, proves we need a change.”

Election results are available here:

Seattle, WA –  Today, Washington Conservation Voters announced the sole endorsement of Tina Podlodowski, Democrat for Secretary of State.
“We know the vast majority of Washingtonians believe in taking bold action to protect and preserve our environment and public health – but we also know that voter turnout is at historic lows; 6 of 10 Washingtonians did not vote in last year’s election.” Said Shannon Murphy, President of Washington Conservation Voters in a statement. “Tina Podlodowski will bring needed reforms to our election system and work to engage a broader swath of Washingtonians in our democracy. We are confident she will bring overlooked reforms back to the forefront and invest in a voting system that works for Washington Voters.”  

Washington Conservation Voters is the statewide political voice for the environment. WCV works to elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local offices. Working with allies in the community, they advocate for strong environmental policies and hold our elected officials accountable during the legislative session. Through its political work Washington is strengthening laws that safeguard the health of communities, the beauty of our state, and our economic future.

Statement from Tina Podlodowski on receiving WCV’s endorsement:

“Washington Conservation Voters’ support is very important to me and I am honored by this endorsement,” said Tina Podlodowski, Democrat running for Washington Secretary of State. “Our voting system is not working as intended and the voters of Washington deserve a leader who will fight for them. Most people in Washington believe that we should have clean water, fresh air, and healthy lands, but the majority of Washingtonians are not voting –there are 1.5 million people who are eligible to vote who are not even registered. We need these voices at the decision making table. I will fight for every citizen to have equal access to the right to vote because the more people who participate, the stronger our democracy.”

BURLINGTON, VT –  Today, Democracy for America (DFA) announced its endorsement of Tina Podlodowski in her bid to become Washington’s Secretary of State.

The endorsement will be formally announced to DFA’s 1 million members nationwide via an email from Fmr. State Senator Nina Turner, a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter and the 2014 Democratic nominee for Ohio Secretary of State candidate, Nina Turner.  Turner’s email to DFA members is available below.

TinaPodlodowskiStatement from Democracy for America‘s Chair Jim Dean on today’s endorsement of Tina Podlodowski for Washington Secretary of State:

Democracy is not a spectator sport and Tina Podlodowski is the leader we need to make sure Washington State has an innovative voting system that makes even easier for citizens to cast their ballot and make sure their voice is heard. A successful high-tech businesswoman, Tina is the kind of kind of leader Washington State needs to champion neglected reforms and invest responsibly in a voting system that works for every voter, not a particular political party.”   — Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Statement from Tina Podlodowski on receiving DFA’s endorsement:

“I am thrilled to have the support of Democracy for America. I will fight for every citizen to have equal access to the right to vote, and am honored to have Democracy for America members fighting alongside me. Together we will win this race and ensure that every voice is heard and every vote is counted.”  — Tina Podlodowski, Candidate, Washington Secretary of State

DFA’s endorsement of Podlodowski brings with it a one-million member-strong grassroots army that has knocked hundreds of thousands of doors, made over 11.1 million phone calls, and raised and contributed more than $36.6 million to help elect 843 progressive candidates nationwide since 2004.

Democracy for America (DFA) is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with 57,083 members in Washington and one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism.

By Joe Veyera

Sunday, June 26, 2016 2:50 PM

Democratic challenger Tina Podlodowski (center) speaks during a Secretary of State debate with Republican incumbent Kim Wyman (right), moderated by radio host Dave Ross (left), on Saturday evening at St. Mark's Cathedral.

Democratic challenger Tina Podlodowski (center) speaks during a Secretary of State debate with Republican incumbent Kim Wyman (right), moderated by radio host Dave Ross (left), on Saturday evening at St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Nine statewide offices are up for election this November, but the most hotly contested battle in Washington may be the one for Secretary of State.

On Saturday night, Republican incumbent Kim Wyman, and Democratic challenger Tina Podlodowski faced off in a debate at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Capitol Hill, as part of the Fix Democracy First and WAmend 2016 Awards Dinner.

Wyman is currently the lone member of the Republican Party to hold a statewide position on the West Coast, and is trying to hold on to a position held by the GOP since 1964.

Throughout the nearly hour-long debate — moderated by KIRO-AM host Dave Ross — Podlodowski criticized her opponent’s record over her four years in the position, while Wyman attempted to frame the former Seattle City Councilmember as unprepared for the nuances of the role.

One of the main points of contention on the night surrounded the Washington Voting Rights Act.

Podlodowski voiced her strong support for the measure, along with a bevy of other efforts she believes would increase voter turnout, including postage-free ballots, automatic voter registration, same day registration, and pre-registration for 16-and-17-year-olds.

Wyman acknowledged her opposition to the original version of the bill in 2012, saying that it had some mechanical issues at the time that needed work. However, through conversations with lawmakers (specifically mentioning Rep. Luis Moscoso), her issues regarding the language of the measure were addressed.

But from that point forward, she said, she didn’t advocate on it because she felt it was a policy discussion the legislature was having.

When asked whether they see the role as merely clerical, or one in which they can push for certain reforms, Wyman said she has focused on being fair and balanced as the person tasked with overseeing the election system, and therefore has stayed away from specific stances.

But for Podlodowski, the mission is to, “make sure that everyone eligible is registered, and everyone registered is voting,” and that’s not currently the case, with 1.5 million eligible yet unregistered potential voters. Of that number, Podlodowski said, most are women, young people, from communities of color, recently naturalized citizens, and those making less than $50,000 a year.

But Wyman said that outreach is being done, noting that election materials are printed in 19 languages. She did, however, cede the point to Podlodowski that her office should be at every naturalization ceremony, something that hasn’t been done to this point.

The two also sparred over voter turnout, with the challenger saying that Wyman has not done enough over the past four years to get people registered, or to the polls.

But the incumbent claimed that, to an extent, it’s out of the hands of whoever is in the position.

“It is what is on the ballot that drives turnout,” Wyman said.

To that end, Wyman guaranteed that Seattle will see “incredibly high” turnout in the August primary because of the 8th Congressional District race.

Podlodowski said increasing turnout has to start with planning at the local level, and both getting people interested and making it accessible to vote on smaller measures.

“It’s not pulling the big levers,” Podlodowski said, “it’s pulling the little levers.”

The primary election system was also a hot topic of discussion, with both candidates stressing the need for changes.

Wyman mentioned her efforts to move up this year’s presidential primary, and her aim to have it early enough in the cycle to where it means something in the national race — and in turn draws candidates to come to the state to campaign — while also being credible so parties want to use the results. This year, Republicans used the primary to allocate delegates to the national convention, while Democrats used caucuses to do so, rendering the vote little more than a glorified straw poll.

Her opponent called the current primary system “broken,” citing the $11.5 million price tag. Podlodowski said that moving up the primary date needs to be evaluated in tandem with other nearby states, like Oregon and Montana, to create a “Northwest Primary” that would garner more attention from the candidates, while also allowing for a focus on regional issues.

There was also brief discussion on the controversial issue of electing judges. The incumbent said it’s a challenging topic, but that she’s unsure that there’s a more tenable option for filling those roles, and that elections make those officials more accountable to the public. Podlodowski said it’s a problem in the same way the current initiative process in a problem, and another issue that needs to be part of a performance audit of the whole system.

On her first day in office, Podlodowski said she would launch an audit, looking at everything from turnout, to registration, to the office’s finances.

“You can’t begin to fix the system, and work the system, until you have the numbers to do that,” she said.



Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund — Spotlight Candidate
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
Tacoma City Councilmember Ryan Mello
Representative Brady Walkinshaw
Representative Jamie Pedersen
King County Councilmember Joe McDermott
King County CouncilmemberDave Upthegrove
Senator Marko Liias
Former Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark
Former Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Representative Laurie Jinkins
Representative Christine Kilduff
Representative Joan McBride
YDWA President LaKecia Farmer
Louise Chernin
Kris Hermans
Marsha Botzer
Danni Askini
Kate Beck
Josh Castle
Michael Maddux
Leslie Giblett
Steve Gunn
Michael Mattmiller
Mona Smith
Lorrie McKay
Jody Hall
Kirk Fordham
Jennifer Cast
Monica Harrell
Risa Blythe
Roger Nyhus
John Payes
Laura Ricketts
Beth Shipp
Jordan Markowitz
Zachary Pullin
Allison Sparks


Yakima, WA – This morning Democratic candidate for Secretary of State Tina Podlodowski reflected on yesterday’s Washington State presidential primary.

“With fewer than one third of registered voters participating in the May 24 presidential primary election – well below Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s ‘robust turnout’ projection of ‘at least 42%’ – we see a continuing trend of decline in our democracy, and a waste of our tax dollars,” said Podlodowski, noting the expense of about $9.00 for every vote cast so far in the election.

Voter turnout in the last two presidential primaries was 41.9% in 2008, and 42.6% in 2000. Washington State cancelled its presidential primary elections in 2012 and 2004. Last year Secretary Wyman pledged to cancel the May presidential primary, but reversed her position noting “very rich political data” is generated because voters must choose a party in this election. (The Herald, 7/9/15)

“Our presidential primary system in Washington State is broken. $11.5M of our taxpayer dollars should not be spent on something that disappoints and confuses voters. Two of the last four primaries were cancelled, and Secretary Wyman should have followed through on her promise to cancel this one too. Clearly Wyman’s priority is on political parties, not the people of Washington. She spent the last year focused on preserving this partisan presidential primary while doing nothing to expand voting opportunities in Washington. This $11.5M might have been spent to expand voter registration, increase voter turnout, and make ballots postage free. Instead, we just completed an election for the purpose of party building. Let’s set the bar higher and insist that our Secretary of State works to improve and expand voting for the people of Washington.”

Tina also spoke about her vision for the future of the primary system, ‘It is also clear that Democrats have outgrown the caucus system, which is why in 2020 look forward to running a primary where the ease of voting means dramatically increased turnout, and Washington’s role in the presidential nominating process reflects the important voices of many more of our citizens.’ 


For 30 years Tina Podlodowski worked in technology and management. She has seen how innovation can level the playing field for those whose voices go unheard. As a first generation American who has spent her life fighting for equality and driving forward progress, she understands just how important voting and an equitable election system are to a functioning and flourishing democracy. After a successful career as a senior manager at Microsoft, Tina won an at-large seat on the Seattle City Council with 65% of the popular vote. While in office she championed the complete redevelopment and modernization of the City’s financial management system, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. Tina also pioneered in-district council meetings to engage a more diverse group of constituents in the city’s decision-making process. A Puget Sound Business Journal “Woman of Influence,” Tina’s 30+ years of leadership in technology management, and government service has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, improved public safety and health, and revolutionized technology. As Washington Secretary of State, Tina’s crosscutting experience, and commitment to a fair, accessible and equitable voting system, will restore Washington as a leader in democracy.

By Joel Connelly

A seven-figure price tag will be attached to the down-ballot race this November between Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Washington’s lone Republican officeholder, and Democratic challenger Tina Podlodowski.

Wyman is in the “crosshairs” of “liberal national groups” and a “radical-left fringe group,” ex-Attorney General Rob McKenna warned this week in a fundraising letter for the GOP incumbent.

“Kim and I have talked it through and here’s our strategy,” McKenna wrote. “‘Citizens for Kim Wyman’ must raise one million dollars.”

Podlodowski is a formidable challenger.  She is a former Microsoft manager, served a term on the Seattle City Council and has been a key adviser to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on such matters as the choice of a new Seattle police chief.

Wyman was elected by a margin of just 23,000 votes in 2012 but was the only victor in what Republicans felt was a formidable statewide ticket.  McKenna lost by a narrow margin to Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Secretary of State Kim Wyman is a rising star in our Washington Republican Party,” McKenna wrote.  “She’s the only statewide elected Republican in Washington.  In fact, she’s the only statewide elected Republican on the West Coast.”

The Wyman-Podlodowski contest will enrich Seattle TV stations, along with the consultants who put out, in McKenna’s words, “literature blitzes and direct mail.”

But the voters of Washington will likely be the real winners.

The secretary of state is Washington’s chief elections officer.  The Wyman vs. Podlodowski  race will focus on how to make it easier to vote, how to engage 18-to-34 year-olds, and what reforms are needed.

Wyman has worked at elections, first as Thurston County auditor, for 23 years.  She has championed the Washington State Library, which some cretins in the Legislature wanted to close during the Great Recession.

But the state Senate’s ruling Republicans did the secretary of state no favors during the Legislature’s recent session.

The Senate GOP balked at a bipartisan proposal for advance voter registration of 17-year-olds when they obtain driver’s licenses.

The Republicans blocked a floor vote on the Washington Voting Rights Act, a mechanism to resolve civil rights disputes locally in Eastern Washington counties where Latinos have been shut out of city halls and county courthouses.

Podlodowski is championing not only advance registration of 17-year-olds, but says 16-year-olds receiving driver’s licenses should be city and county governments.

She is also an advocate of same-day voter registration.  But Wyman believes it would put excessive pressure on local officials trying to administer elections.

As befits a fundraising letter, McKenna warned of a nefarious opposition, writing:  “A radical left-fringe group called iVote spent $2 million in 2014 on just four Secretary of State races.”

The Wyman and Podlodowski camps do agree on one point.

The contest for secretary of state, in Rob McKenna’s words, “promises to be a real barn burner.”

By Pramila Jayapal and Tina Podlodowski

Last year, Yakima had an historic election. For the first time, in a city with a Latino population of 41 percent, voters finally elected Latina members to the seven-member Yakima city council. This type of  fair representation—voters chose three Latinas—was unprecedented (the city had never elected a Latino either.) If that’s surprising to you, it shouldn’t be. Data collected over years demonstrates Yakima’s racially polarized voting prevented voters from electing candidates who represented their values.

While historic, had the Washington Voting Rights Act been passed when first introduced in 2012 or any of the subsequent years it was introduced, fair representation in Yakima would have been achieved years earlier. It was only after the ACLU sued that Yakima was forced to hold districted elections last year, rather than the at-large elections that had been used to keep Latinos off the city council.  The Washington Voting Rights Act would allow communities to move to a system of districted elections at local levels, so voters would have a fair chance to elect candidates of their choice, under the principle of “One Person, One Vote.”

We are both longtime advocates for voter equality and access—whether those voters are Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. We’re disappointed that voting rights seem to have become a partisan issue in Washington. For the fourth legislative session in a row, the Republican majority in the senate has refused to even bring the Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) to a vote on the floor. The Republican senate majority has also refused legislation that would expand access to voting through automatic voter registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds.

Even Republican secretary of state Kim Wyman, who has been supportive of some bills for automatic voter registration, but has been unable to effectively get the legislation passed, does not support the WVRA. Under Secretary Wyman, voter turnout has declined to a dismal 38 percent in the general election and more than one million eligible Washingtonians remain unregistered.

This is particularly notable given the widespread support from editorial boards across the state—from The Seattle Times to the Yakima Herald—who know that our democracy only works if everyone has the ability for their vote to count.  The suppression of the Washington Voting Rights Act is an affront to civil rights and immigrant rights groups, who marched on Olympia, as well as to organizations like the League of Women Voters and others who are committed to real democracy.

You should be upset. We know we are.

This election is an opportunity to hold those candidates accountable who are disenfranchising voters and obstructing fair elections. Washington should be a model for voting across the country, aiming for the highest percentage of citizens registered to vote and the highest turnout in the nation.  To achieve these goals, we need to change how we conduct elections. Specifically, we believe Washington must:

  • Pass the Washington Voting Rights Act. Vetted and perfected for four legislative sessions, the only thing holding up the WVRA is active resistance from the Republican Party.
  • Implement Automatic Voter Registration in Washington, joining Oregon and California. This past legislative session, Senator Jayapal introduced SB 6379 into the State Senate after working with voting rights advocates locally and nationally to craft a specific bill that addressed Washington’s unique needs.  The bill was not even moved through committee.
  • Implement same-day registration, allowing qualified residents to register and vote on Election Day.
  • Make mail-in ballots postage-free, as finding and paying for a stamp is just one more unnecessary obstacle to voting.
  • Increase the number of drop boxes for urban, suburban, and rural residents, including on university campuses.

We know these changes require funds, but just imagine what the $11.5 million of taxpayer dollars the State Republican Party is spending on their May primary election (Democrats pay for caucuses with party funds), could pay for:

  • Four cycles of postage-free voting statewide.
  • Voting drop boxes for every 15,000 residents per county.
  • Ballot drop boxes on every college campus in the state.
  • The administrative costs of same day registration.

It’s time to hold accountable those elected officials who continue to block essential progress on expanding our democracy and fail to provide every eligible resident with that most American of opportunities—the opportunity to vote.

Pramila Jayapal is the state senator from Southeast Seattle’s 37th Legislative District, a candidate for the 7th U.S. Congressional District, and founder of OneAmerica

Tina Podolowski is a former Seattle city council member, a candidate for secretary of state, and former Microsoft senior manager.

By Joel Connelly

A top Democratic fundraising juggernaut for women, EMILY’s List, on Friday backed ex-Seattle City Council member Tina Podlodowski in her bid to unseat Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

The endorsement, in a contest between two women, indicated that a down-ballot office may become a marquee race of the fall election.

Wyman is Washington’s lone Republican statewide official, and a rising star in her party.  Podlodowski, a former Microsoft executive, has served as a senior adviser and troubleshooter for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

“Washington state has been at the forefront of so many movements, from working to end gun violence to implementing marriage equality; it’s exciting to think about what election reforms could happen under the leadership of someone like Tina,” said Stephanie Schriock, EMILY’s List president.

If elected, EMILY’s List noted, Podlodowski would be the second lesbian elected to statewide executive office in the nation.

EMILY’s List has raised a lot of money in Washington, and has been boosting candidates here since 1988, when it seeded Jolene Unsoeld in her first bid for Congress. (The EMILY stands for “Early Money is Like Yeast.”) It did likewise for Gov. Chris Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray.

It recently deployed  its fundraising clout behind state Sen. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, in her bid to succeed retiring Congressman Jim McDermott.

Wyman is the state’s chief elections officer. Unlike Republicans holding similar office elsewhere, she has not sought legislation designed to make it harder for young people and minorities to vote.

On Thursday, Wyman announced a major upgrade to the state Election Division’s MyVote online service. The new version of MyVote was developed to includes voters who are blind or have sight impairment.

MyVote gives voters information that includes registration details, contact information for elected officials, an online voters’ guide and location of ballot drop boxes, as well as their ballot status. It is available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Podlodowski is arguing that Wyman hasn’t done enough.

The challenger is enthusiastic about moving to same-day voter registration, and would register 16- and 17-year olds to vote in advance when the teenagers get their driver’s licenses.

Podlodowski has criticized the lack of more drop boxes where people can leave off their votes, a problem particularly acute in King County.

As they always seem to be at this time in an election year, Republicans are enthusiastic about prospects of picking up statewide offices in the fall, as well as full control of the Legislature.

They have fielded strong candidates for state auditor and treasurer, offices where Democratic incumbents are not seeking reelection. The officed of lieutenant and land commissioner are also open with the retirement of Democratic incumbents.

Still, Podlodowski is a formidable, energetic and accomplished challenger to the one office that Republicans do hold.

By Alex Halverson

Washington Secretary of State candidate Tina Podlodowski discussed the need to improve voter turnout with Western’s Associated Students on Saturday, April 2.

Western averages eight voters registered per hour of volunteering. With over 3,000 students registered in 2015 alone, it holds the top three records for most voters registered in one day at any college in Washington, according to Associated Students of Western Washington University Voter Access and Civic Education.

While Podlodowski has visited 49 legislative districts so far, her campaign has not reached many campuses yet, she said.

“Coming to Western was a stop that absolutely, positively had to happen,” Podlodowski said. “If you want to talk about voting concerns, voting rights and student voting, Western is where you come.”

Associated Student members gather with Washington Secretary of State candidate Tina Podlodowski Sat., April 2. // Photo by Alex Halverson

(Associated Student members gather with Washington Secretary of State candidate Tina Podlodowski Sat., April 2. // Photo by Alex Halverson)

One issue Podlodowski insisted on was a broader access to voting.

“I really believe the more people and the more diverse people we have voting, the better policies we’ll have,” Podlodowski said.

Podlodowski and the AS point to poor access and voting education as the largest deterrent for voting.

“I think the lack of access causes apathy,” Podlodowski said. “If you hit too many barriers, you’re not going to go down that road. It feels like one that’s not accessible.”

Providing better access for people can enable them to realize that the system works for them and their vote counts, she said.

“I think people don’t really see that their vote matters or that it’s accessible.” AS Legislative Affairs Council Henry Pollet said.

Creating accessibility is what the AS has done on campus. On move-in days students are asked if they’re registered to vote and are given the opportunity to, said Dylan Hansen, a registered sophomore.

The registration process is simple and quick, Hansen said.

“I thought it was going to be a thing where I had to show my ID, do all these different things and go to an office, but it was just a fill-out form,”Hansen said.