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Responsibilities of Elected Offices
Federal offices County offices Special districts
President/Vice President
U.S. Senator
U.S. Representative
 
State executive offices
Governor
Lieutenant Governor
Secretary of State
Treasurer
Auditor

Attorney General

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Commissioner of Public Lands
Insurance Commissioner
 
State legislative offices
State Senator
State Representative
 
State judicial offices
Supreme Court Justice
Court of Appeals Judge
Assessor
Auditor
Clerk
Coroner
County Commissioner
Prosecuting Attorney
Sheriff
Treasurer
 
County judicial offices
Superior Court Judge
District Court Judge
 
City and Town offices
Types of city government
Council-Manager
Mayor-Council
 
Political party office
Precinct Committee Officer
Cemetery Districts
Fire Protection Districts
Parks and Recreation Districts
Port of Olympia
Public Utility District
Regional Fire Authorities
School Districts
 
 
Federal Offices- Partisan
President and Vice President

The President must be at least 35 years of age and a natural born U.S. citizen.

The chief duty of the President is to ensure that the laws of the U.S. are faithfully executed. The President is the commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, has the power to make treaties with foreign governments with Senate approval, and has the power to veto (reject) laws passed by Congress.

The Vice President shall become President in the event the Office of the President becomes vacant. The Vice President also serves as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senator

U.S. Senators must be at least 30 years of age, have been a citizen of the U.S. for nine years, and be a registered voter of the state from which he or she is elected.

The Senate and House have equal responsibility for declaring war, maintaining the armed forces, assessing taxes, borrowing money, minting currency, regulating commerce, and making all laws necessary for the operation of government.

U.S. Representative

U.S. Representatives must be at least 25 years of age, have been a citizen of the U.S. for seven years, and be a registered voter of the state from which he or she is elected.

The Senate and House have equal responsibility for declaring war, maintaining the armed forces, assessing taxes, borrowing money, minting currency, regulating commerce, and making all laws necessary for the operation of government.

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State Executive Offices- Partisan
Governor

The Governor is the chief executive officer of the state. The Governor makes appointments for hundreds of positions, including directors of state agencies, reports annually to the Legislature on affairs of the state, and may veto (reject) legislation passed by the Legislature.

Lietenant Governor

The Lieutenant Governor acts as Governor if the Governor is unable to perform the official duties of the office and is first in line of succession if the Office of the Governor becomes vacant. The Lieutenant Governor is the presiding officer of the state Senate.

Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is the state’s chief elections officer, chief corporation officer, and oversees the state Archives and Library. The Secretary of State is second in line of succession for the Office of the Governor.

Treasurer

The Treasurer’s principal duties are to manage and disperse all funds and accounts, be responsible for all state investments, make payments of interest and principal on state bonded indebtedness, and maintain a revenue collection system for deposits into the Treasury.

Auditor

The state Auditor conducts independent financial, accountability, and performance audits of all Washington state governments. The Auditor investigates whistleblower assertions, reports of fraud, waste, and abuse received through it's citizen hotline.

Attorney General

The Attorney General serves as legal counsel to the: Governor; members of the Legislature; state officials; state agencies; boards and commissions; colleges and universities.

Superintendent of Public Instruction (only state executive nonpartisan position)

The Superintendent is responsible for the administration of the state kindergarten through twelfth grade education programs. The superintendent certifies teaching personnel, approves accreditation programs, and regulates the apportionment of state and local funds.

Commissioner of Public Lands

The Commissioner of Public Lands is the head of the Department of Natural Resources, overseeing the management of 5 million acres of forest, agricultural, range, tidal, and shore lands of the state. Subject to proprietary policies established by the Board of Natural Resources, the Commissioner is responsible for the exercise of all duties and functions of the department.

Insurance Commissioner

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner regulates insurance companies doing business in Washington, licenses agents and brokers, reviews policies and rates, examines the operations and finances of insurers, and handles inquiries and complaints from the public.

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State Legislative Offices- Partisan
State Senator

The Senate’s only exclusive duty is to confirm governor appointments. During legislative sessions, the Legislature is called upon to enact or reject legislation affecting public policy in the state, provide for the levy and collection of taxes and other revenue to support state government and assist local government, and appropriate funds for these purposes.

State Representative

During legislative sessions, the Legislature is called upon to enact or reject legislation affecting public policy in the state, provide for the levy and collection of taxes and other revenue to support state government and assist local government, and appropriate funds for these purposes.

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State Judicial Offices- Nonpartisan
Supreme Court Justice

The Supreme Court hears appeals and decides on cases from the Court of Appeals and other lower courts.

Court of Appeals Judge

Courts of Appeals hear and decide on most of the appeals that come up from the superior courts.

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County Offices- Partisan
Assessor

The assessor's determines the fair market value of all real and personal property for use as the basis upon which to calculate property taxes and is responsible for property value exemption and reduction programs.

Auditor

Tthe auditor is responsible for administering federal, state, and local elections, processing licenses and titles, recording and preserving all real estate documents for the county, and oversees county expenditures, accounts payable, pay roll, and internal audits.

Clerk

The clerk preserves for the public free access to a fair, accurate, and independently established record of the opinions, decisions, and judgments of the court.

Coroner

The coroner investigates all sudden, violent, suspicious, and unusual deaths occurring in the county. The coroner certifies death certificates, notifies next of kin, and inventories/releases personal property.

County Commissioner

Couny commisioners serve as the general purpose local government and legislative authority outside city limits. The commission is responsible for county policies, approving the county budget, and other state legislative directed duties.

Prosecuting Attorney

The prosecuting attorney prosecutes criminal actions in superior, district, and juvenile courts. The prosecuting attorney provides legal advice/represents county officials in civil actions, handles paternity/child support collection cases, and assists victims/survivors throughout the criminal prosceution of their offenders.

Sheriff

The sheriff is reponsible for law enforcement, jail facilities management, civil and legal processing, and emergency operations.

Treasurer

The treasurer is responsible for providing banking, investment, debt and cash management services, and collecting property taxes for the county and all local governments within the county, except cities.

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County Judicial Offices- Nonpartisan
Superior Court Judge

Superior Court Judges hear felony criminal cases, civil cases involving real property, domestic relations matters, juvenile matters, appeals from lower courts, and appeals from state administrative agencies.

District Court Judge

The Thurston County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction which hears civil, small claims, criminal cases, and traffic citations/cases.  The court conducts all court proceedings for the City of Lacey and hears jury trials for other municipal courts within Thurston County.

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City and Town Offices- Nonpartisan
Types of City Government

There are two forms of city government in Thurston County: mayor-council and council-manager. Under both forms of government the council is the city's legislative and policy making body. All council members are elected.

Council-Manager (Lacey and Olympia)

Council-Manager (Lacey): The city council appoints a city manager to oversee day-to-day affairs and selects one member to act as chairman, with the title of mayor, prosiding over council meetings and serving as ceremonial head of the city.

Council-Manager (Olympia): The city council appoints a city manger to oversee day-to-day affairs. The mayor is elected, presides over council meetings and serves as ceremonial head of the city.

Mayor-Council (Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater, and Yelm)

The mayor and council members are elected. The mayor administers day-to-day city affairs, presides over council meetings, and has a veto power.

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Political Party Office- Partisan
Precinct Committee Officer (PCO)

A Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) is an elected official in either the Thurston County Democratic or Republican party. The office establishes a direct link between the party and the voters in the local precinct.

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Special Districts- Nonpartisan
Cemetery Districts

Commissioners acquire, improve, and operate cemeteries. They also set a budget and estabish fees and rules for cemetery use.

Fire Protection Districts & Regional Fire Authorities (RFA)

Commissioners oversee districts that provide fire prevention services, fire suppression, emergency medical services and the protection of life and property in the county. With voter approval, they may issue bonds and make excess levies.

Parks and Recreation Districts

Parks district commissionsers may acquire properties, make contracts, establish fees, make rules governing park properties, and manage and operate facilities. They may also impose property taxes, establish local improvement districts, and issue revenue bonds.

Port of Olympia

Port districts are empowered to levy taxes, promote economic development, create incidental park and recreation facilities, and adopt and enforce regulations for moorage and toll facilities. The commissioners set objectives, policies, and overall port direction through comprehensive plans.

Public Utility District Commissioner

The PUD provides utility services, water planning, and set rates for customers of the approximately 155 water systems. The PUD is empowered to develop/operate facilities for the distribution of its utility services and can levy taxes against property within the district to raise funds.

School Districts

The board’s responsibilities include: budget, policy development, curriculum approval, planning, and communications. School board directors delegate authority for day-to-day functions to professional staff; however, they may never delegate ultimate responsibility.

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Tumwater, WA 98512

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Olympia, WA 98502

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