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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

No Mickey Mouse Or Easter Bunny On Your Ballot, Please

Phyllis Fletcher
Northwest News Network

Mickey Mouse belongs in Disneyland, not on your ballot. Same goes for the Easter Bunny and other funny write-in candidates.

That’s the message from election workers in Washington as we head into election week.

What if voters elected the Easter Bunny as mayor? Not likely to happen, but that’s the premise of a voter education video produced by Thurston County election officials. It tells the story of a little girl who’s made very sad when the Easter Bunny has to go be mayor.

“Writing in the names of fictional characters like the Easter Bunny and Mickey Mouse takes up election staff time and that costs you money,” the video says.

The tagline is: “Be a good voter and leave the Easter Bunny to Easter.”

So far ballots have been trickling in for this off-year election. But Washington’s Secretary of State still predicts a 46 percent turnout. The majority of ballots typically arrive election week in this vote-by-mail era.

Washington voters will be deciding two statewide initiatives plus many local races and issues. It’s expected about 50 percent of the vote will be tabulated on Election night.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."