FAST Facts about the Washington State Presidential Primary:
Your Vote, Your Voice
For the first time in over 75 years, Washington State voters will be participating in a state-run Presidential Primary to allocate National Convention delegates to Presidential candidates. Both major political parties are allocating their delegates this way, and voters have a new and exciting opportunity to have a say in who should be our next President!
When is the Presidential Primary?
The Washington Presidential Primary is March 10, 2020. Washington is a Vote-by-Mail state, so registered voters will receive ballots in the mail about 18 days before Primary Day.
How do I vote in the Presidential Primary? It’s easy as 1-2-3!
1. Check your voter registration. Go to www.myvote.wa.gov to verify that you are registered to vote and that your county elections office has your address correct, so your ballot for the Presidential Primary will be sent to your home. Look for your ballot packet to arrive around February 21, the first day of the 18-day voting period for the Presidential Primary.
2. Pick a Party! Inside your ballot packet you will find a return envelope, a security sleeve or envelope, and a ballot. On the return envelope you will have a choice between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Follow the instructions to mark your choice of Party, and sign the oath for your choice of Party.
3. Pick a Candidate! You will have one ballot with two sections, a Democratic section and a Republican section. You must use only one Party section, and it must be the one matching the Party you picked on the return envelope. If the party on the envelope and the ballot are different, your ballot cannot be counted, so double check!
Now, pick your candidate:
The Democratic Ballot will have these choices:
• Michael Bennet
• Joseph R. Biden
• Michael Bloomberg
• Pete Buttigieg
• John Delaney
• Tulsi Gabbard
• Amy Klobuchar
• Deval Patrick
• Bernie Sanders
• Tom Steyer
• Elizabeth Warren
• Andrew Yang
• Uncommitted Delegates
The Republican Ballot will have this choice:
• Donald J. Trump
Follow the instructions in your ballot packet to mark your ballot for your preferred candidate. Place your ballot in the security envelope or sleeve, and place the security envelope with your marked ballot enclosed into the return envelope.
Close the return envelope, be sure to choose your party and sign the oath and you can either send your ballot back through the US mail (postmarked no later than March 10), or you can drop your ballot in a handy drop box provided by your county elections office. Visit your County Auditor’s website for a list of those drop boxes.
Why do I have to pick a political Party?
Each party’s Presidential Primary is part of the process by which they choose a nominee to represent that Party’s values and policies. In states with voter registration by party, the voter is already pre-sorted into the nominating process for the Party they most identify with, and receive a ballot for just their party’s Primary. In Washington, because voters do not register by party, we must self-identify on our ballot - just for the Presidential Primary - so we all participate in the correct Primary for the party we most personally support.
So how does THAT work?
To participate, the voter will need to attest to their support of one of the two political parties before they can vote in that party’s primary. They are free to choose either of the major political parties. If the Party oath on the outside of the envelope and the ballot inside the envelope are not marked with the same Party, your ballot will not be able to be counted!
How is the “winner” determined?
While there may be one or two candidates who earn substantially more votes than others, unlike a general election, there is no single “winner”. In the Democratic Primary with many candidates, every candidate (or the uncommitted option) who receives at least 15% of the vote in the Primary, will receive Democratic National Convention Delegates. Washington State has 89 national delegates available to be allocated as pledged convention delegates, and they will be
distributed between the candidates proportionally based upon the results of the Democratic Primary.
How are the delegates to the Democratic National Convention chosen?
On April 26th , or May 3rd – depending upon your area – your local legislative district will be holding a caucus to select delegates to the Democratic State Convention and start the multi-level process to become a National Convention delegate. If you are interested in your local legislative district caucus and the overall delegate selection process, find more information here.
I’d like more information about the Democrats and the Convention!
Great! Go ahead and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you where you need to go!
The information provided above has been provided by the WA State Democratic Party for educational purposes.