Elections

‘Don’t hang up!’ Republican ‘Ballot Babe,’ is on the line

State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison chats with state Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, on Jan. 12, 2015. In a robocall leading up to Tuesday’s primary election, Hutchison called herself the “ballot babe” and encouraged voters to support Miloscia for state auditor, as well as other Republican candidates.
State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison chats with state Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way, on Jan. 12, 2015. In a robocall leading up to Tuesday’s primary election, Hutchison called herself the “ballot babe” and encouraged voters to support Miloscia for state auditor, as well as other Republican candidates. Staff photographer

The female head of the Washington State Republican Party prefers being called “chairman” rather than “chairwoman” or “chair.”

But she doesn’t mind referring to herself as “your ballot babe” in a robocall telling voters how to fill out their ballots in today’s primary.

In the prerecorded call, Susan Hutchison seeks to provide an easy way for voters to remember how to vote for an all-Republican ticket in some key state races. (Spoiler alert: There’s a lot of alliteration).

She starts by urging voters, “Don’t hang up.”

“Are you confused by your primary ballot? Don’t be. This is Susan, your ballot babe,” Hutchison says in the call.

Hutchison then recommends that voters choose “Brilliant Bill Bryant” for governor, “Chris Vance for Victory” in the race for U.S. Senate and “the best woman, Kim Wyman” in the race for secretary of state.

She goes on to tell voters to “mark it for Mark Miloscia” in the race for state auditor, and to choose “Super Steve McLaughlin” for lands commissioner. “Ballot Babe” then repeats these slogans for good measure, and reminds voters to mail their primary ballots by 5 p.m.

Voters also can return ballots to official election drop boxes by 8 p.m.

The Democratic Party hasn’t been using robocalls to try to boost turnout in the primary, said Marc Siegel, a spokesman for the Washington State Democrats.

Instead, Democratic candidates have been conducting “get out the vote” events throughout the state, he said.

Democrats are working to re-elect Jay Inslee as governor, as well as retain U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, who Vance is challenging this year.

In the race for state auditor, two Democrats – Seattle attorney Jeff Sprung and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy – are running against Miloscia, a state senator. Mark Wilson, who identifies as an independent, and unaffiliated candidate David Golden round out the field.

The race for state lands commissioner is also crowded, with five Democrats – Hillary Franz, Mary Verner, Dave Upthegrove, Karen Porterfield and John Stillings – competing against McLaughlin and a Libertarian candidate, Steven Nielson.

As of Tuesday morning, about 18.4 percent of registered voters had returned their ballots in the all-mail election, according to the Office of the Secretary of State. Based on past years, election officials are expecting about 40 percent participation in the primary.

Initial election results are expected to come in by about 8:30 tonight.

Melissa Santos: 360-357-0209, @melissasantos1

  Comments