PRESS RELEASE                                           MARCH 7, 2002

State Grange ready to defend blanket primary

The Washington State Grange will join the Secretary of State's office and the
Attorney General's office in defending the blanket primary in Federal District
Court in Tacoma Friday, March 8.

The March 8 hearing was requested by the plaintiffs, which include the
Democratic Party, Republican Party and Libertarian Party, and also by the
Secretary of State's office and Attorney General's office, is in response to a
call for summary judgement. The Grange was not among those asking for summary
judgement. Basically, both sides feel they have presented enough information to
the court at this point for the judge to make a decision without going to

"We feel this battle would best be served in court, through a full trial," said
Washington State Grange Master Terry Hunt. "If the state did happen to win the
summary judgement hearing, the decision would be appealed, and it's likely the
appellate court would remand it back down for trial anyway. Our best chance to
preserve the blanket primary we've enjoyed for more than 65 years lies with a
trial in this court."

The Grange established the blanket primary in response to complaints by
Washington citizens in the early 1900s about the stranglehold parties had on
the elections process. Ira Shea, Charles Hodde and other prominent Grange
members draft Initiative 2, which passed through the legislature in 1934 and
was put into law in 1935. The blanket primary allows voters to choose the
candidate that best represents them, regardless of party affiliation, if any.
Representing the Grange in this case is James Johnson, whose practice is in
Olympia and who has many years experience in elections law.