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Ballots for the Nov. 3 election will be mailed to Yakima County voters in mid-October, and the Yakima Herald-Republic’s newsroom staff is gearing up to provide comprehensive coverage.

We are starting coverage earlier than usual this year, with the goal of having stories about local races out before Oct. 16, when ballots start arriving. Along with picking a president, voters will select people to represent them in the U.S. House, state House and Senate, state supreme court, local superior court and county commission.

A full slate of state positions also are on the ballot, including governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, public lands commissioner, superintendent of public instruction, and insurance commissioner.

All coverage will be posted at www.yakimaherald.com/news/elections/guide.

Here’s what you need to know about our coverage:

Locally focused

Election coverage is one of the most important things we do, and we devote significant staff time and resources to it. There’s lots of attention on the presidential race, but we know it can be tough to keep up with local races and candidates. That’s why you’ll find our local reporters focused first on local races and issues.

We ask candidates questions that are important to people who live here. Our coverage is a chance for readers to get to know the people running for office and their backgrounds, and how they will approach issues that matter to this area — including COVID-19, health care, taxes, homelessness, immigration, agriculture, education, wildfires, water and affordable housing.

ELECTION 2020: Complete coverage

ELECTION 2020: Complete coverage

For all of the Yakima Herald-Republic’s 2020 election coverage, click here. For more information about how we are covering the 2020 election, click here. For more information on how to vote, click here or call 509-574-1340.

We also track candidate spending through the Washington Public Disclosure Commission and Federal Elections Commission reports.

What we will cover

The Yakima Herald-Republic covers contested races, or those with more than one candidate. Reporters will interview candidates for legislative and congressional seats, judgeships and county commissioner slots. The newspaper will rely on a mix of outside and local coverage for the state elected positions; some of those stories have already been published. Outside coverage comes from The Associated Press and other newspapers in Washington state.

Our reporters strive to provide unbiased information without endorsing a particular candidate.

We also plan “nuts-and-bolts” coverage of how the election process works, including the basics of voting, turning in a ballot and how the Yakima County Auditor’s Office counts and tabulates results. Those stories and videos will also be available in Spanish through our sister publication, El Sol de Yakima.

We’ll have coverage this week of candidates for state supreme court, public lands commissioner, the 4th District U.S. House seat and state schools chief.

The week of Oct. 11, we’ll have coverage of county commissioner, state House and Senate seats and local judge candidates.