Washington State

Rain, Fire and Car Crashes: How Ballot Boxes are Built to Withstand the World

The boxes are developed to include a host of built-in security features to keep ballots safe.

A State Moves Its Mainframe System to the Cloud

With technicians retiring and fewer agencies using the state-run system, Washington state is turning to an outside vendor to provide mainframe computing services.

Black Women Legislators Are Rare in Statehouses. This Could Be the Solution.

Statehouses are predominantly White and male-led. One PAC in Washington state wants to change that—and be the model for other legislatures.

Death Toll Rises as Wildfires Burn Across West Coast

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | A federal appeals court says ex-felons will need to pay fines and restitution before they can get their voting rights back … Minneapolis City Council balks at temporary police precinct … Des Moines schools start virtual in violation of state order.

Wildfires in Oregon and Washington Consume Small Towns, While Paradise in California Again Threatened

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Arizona school system putting as many as 70 students in virtual classrooms … Pennsylvania officials warn voters about robocalls with misinformation … Georgia could investigate people who voted twice in primaries.

States and Counties Mandate Covid-19 Testing for Farm Workers

A handful of states and counties are requiring Covid-19 testing for farm and food-processing workers after several clusters of positive cases were traced back to agricultural facilities.

Unchecked Power? How Law Enforcement Could Leverage Facial Recognition During Protests

COMMENTARY | The lack of regulation around facial recognition usage allows law enforcement to use the technology in ways that could undermine civil rights and liberties.

States Warn Residents About Unsolicited Seed Packages Sent From China

People have received the mysterious shipments in at least 22 states. The seeds could pose threats to the environment and agriculture. Federal authorities are investigating.

States Let Law School Grads Work Without Taking the Bar Exam

Earlier this month, Louisiana cancelled the bar exam. This week the state became the fourth to enact "diploma privilege," allowing recent law school graduates to practice law without sitting for the three-day bar exam.

A Blueprint for How State Leaders Can Achieve Better Results

COMMENTARY | Data and evidence can help state policymakers make thoughtful decisions on public health, economics, equity and other issues.

State AG Recommends Data Reporting Mandate for Police Deadly Force Incidents

As it stands, most police agencies in Washington state are not reporting this type of information through a program the FBI launched last year.

Seattle Mayor, Washington Governor Blast President Trump’s Warning to ‘Take Back’ City

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Orange County loosens mask requirement ... Libertarians in Alaska sue over presidential election ... FEMA denies Texas' request for a disaster declaration for a 2019 tornado and other storms.

In a Rural Valley, Virus Threat Hangs Heavy Over Summer Tourist Season

Washington’s Methow Valley is a magnet for tourists and people looking to get into the outdoors. But the coronavirus outbreak is stirring mixed reactions about visitors.

Federal Investigators Target ‘Fraud Ring’ Attacking State Unemployment Systems

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Local governments buy up thermal scanners … Masks now mandatory in public in Los Angeles … New Jersey could partially furlough 100,000 state employees.

Big Brother in Public Health? New Contact Tracing Tactic Raises Privacy Concerns

Requiring businesses to keep customer logs could undermine the public trust necessary to effectively conduct contact tracing, says one public health expert.

For Firefighters Battling Wildfires, Coronavirus Adds New Risks to Already Dangerous Job

States plan to change many usual practices to help prevent the disease from spreading among firefighters, as well as evacuees.

Washington State to Buy 1 Million Chinese Test Swabs in Bid to Reopen

Before finalizing the order, the state is working to “triple check” the quality of swabs.

Health Officials Recommended Canceling Events with 10-50 People. Then 33,000 Fans Attended a Major League Soccer Game.

As COVID-19 fears grew, public officials and sports execs contemplated health risks—and debated a PR message—but let 33,000 fans into a Seattle Sounders soccer match, emails show.

Bruises from Coronavirus Begin to Show on State Budgets

Recent days have seen spending reductions and downbeat revenue forecasts.

In an Airport City, Coronavirus Travel Slump Stokes Budget Worries

SeaTac, Washington is in relatively good financial shape. But its tax revenues depend heavily on a sector that’s taking a beating during the disease outbreak.