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To help slow the spread of CoVID-19, customer service operations of King County Elections will be going virtual starting Monday, March 16th until further notice. Please email elections@kingcounty.gov or give us a call at 206-296-VOTE (8683) if you need additional assistance.

Presidential Primary Overview

Five easy steps to make sure your vote counts!

  1. Read the declarations on the return envelope and mark ONE political party box
  2. Sign and date on the line
  3. Vote for ONE candidate from the political party that you selected
  4. Insert your voted ballot into the security sleeve, then into the return envelope, and seal
  5. Return your ballot – by mail or drop box – by Tuesday, March 10!

This election is part of the major political parties’ national nominating process. Both parties will use the results to allocate delegates to their respective nominating conventions, where they will determine their nominee for the November General election.

In order to participate in this election, all voters must select their party preference and then vote for one candidate from within that party. There is no option to cast an unaffiliated or independent ballot. The party selected in this election will be on the voter’s record for 60 days and is public information. After 60 days, the party preference will be expunged from the voter rolls and the selection made in this election has no bearing on how a voter may participate in any future election.

For this election only, all voters must select a political party in order to participate.

If you mark the Democratic Party box, you must vote for a Democrat. If you mark the Republican Party box, you must vote for a Republican.

Your choice of party in this election will not affect how you may vote or participate in future elections, including the 2020 November General election. It only is relevant to the Presidential Primary itself.

In elections, it’s critical to keep your identity separate from your votes. As ballots are processed, they are removed from the outer envelope, severing all ties between your ballot and your identity. That’s why the declaration and signature are on the envelope and not on the ballot inside.

If you are concerned about others seeing your party preference in transit, we recommend using one of the 70 secure ballot drop boxes across King County. Drop boxes are emptied daily by election administrators and ballots brought directly back to King County Elections for processing and tabulation.

The declarations are your affirmation that you will not participate in the nominating process of a different political party in 2020 other than the one you selected. Whether you identify as a member of that political party, consider yourself independent, or reject party politics all together, every voter must select a party and sign the declaration without any attempts to alter the declaration language in order to have their vote counted.

Crossing out parts of the declaration or writing over the declaration may result in a challenged or rejected ballot so please stick to checking the box that you feel most comfortable with and voting for one candidate from that party to have your vote counted.

The list of eligible candidates was provided by the State Democratic and Republican Parties on January 7. After that date, there was no opportunity to withdraw a name from the ballot.

“Uncommitted delegates” was an option that both parties could choose to include for their voters. Only the Democratic Party requested to have the “uncommitted delegates” option added to their ballot. You may vote for either a named candidate or the “uncommitted delegates” option but not both.

If you vote for a named candidate, you are indicating that you would like delegates from Washington to be committed to the candidate you voted for. If you vote “uncommitted,” you are indicating that you would like delegates from Washington to be sent to the nominating convention without a candidate they are dedicated to.

Washington law requires a Presidential Primary only for major political parties, defined as “…a political party whose nominees for president and vice president received at least five percent of the total votes cast in the last presidential election.” Currently, only the Republican Party and Democratic Party qualify as major political parties under that definition.

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