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October 17, 2019

Candidates responsible for satisfying eligibility requirements

SKAGIT COUNTY - The Skagit County Auditor's Office is charged with overseeing several critically important functions of local government, including the ex-officio supervision of elections and voter registration, recording and maintenance of permanent county records, licensing of vehicles and vessels, and countywide financial services. The Auditor's office has recently received numerous inquiries related to the supervision of local elections, specifically the Auditor's role in the acceptance and processing of candidate filings for public office. While the County Auditor is responsible for supervising and maintaining the integrity of the local elections process, the Auditor does not have authority to determine whether or not candidates are legally eligible to run for public office.

As part of the candidacy filing requirements, potential candidates must pay the applicable filing fee and complete a Washington State Declaration of Candidacy form, which states, "You are responsible for ensuring that you meet all qualifications of the office." Candidates must also complete the Declaration of Candidacy Oath, declaring, "I declare that the above information is true, that I am a registered voter residing at the address listed above, that I am a candidate for the office listed above, and that, at the time of filing this declaration, I am legally qualified to assume office." This oath places responsibility with the candidate to ensure that they satisfy all legal filing and eligibility requirements.

Once a candidacy filing has been submitted, the Auditor's office confirms that the candidate is a registered voter in the district they are seeking public office. Acceptance of a candidacy filing does not require or authorize the Auditor's office to determine that the candidate has satisfied all of the legal requirements to run for public office.

Additionally, the Auditor's office is not authorized or obligated to investigate assertions related to a candidate's eligibility. The legal process for challenging a candidate's eligibility to run for public office is outside the purview of the County Auditor.

The Skagit County Auditor's office is committed to maintaining the highest standards of transparency, accountability, and integrity of the local elections process.

Please contact the Skagit County Auditor's Office at scelections@co.skagit.wa.us or 360-416-1702 for additional information.