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    State's presidential primary election coming Tuesday

    By David Nelson, Kitsap Sun,

    2024-03-12

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=14Kh8Y_0rot9gTJ00

    Ballots in Washington state's presidential primary will be tallied Tuesday night, adding each party's delegate counts to the totals that increasingly favor President Joe Biden among Democrats and former President Donald Trump among Republicans.

    Washington's primary election is Tuesday, but began approximately three weeks ago when ballots were mailed out. The presidential primary is the only election held on March 12 statewide. The election offers voters a choice to pick a candidate in either party, including front-runners Biden and Donald Trump. Others include Dean Phillips, Marianne Williamson and “uncommitted” for voters who choose to vote in the primary for Democrats, and Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy are listed as Republican choices. Ballots were finalized on January 9 in Washington, meaning some candidates have since suspended campaigns.

    Elections in four states on Tuesday will likely give Biden and Trump the delegates they need to clinch the nominations. There are 161 Republican delegates and 254 Democratic delegates at stake on Tuesday, with Washington's primary on the same day as primary elections in Georgia, Mississippi and Hawaii.

    Election guide: Washington state elections, how to vote and more

    Though voters do not have to join a political party to participate in the presidential primary, Washington state law, enacted after the state Legislature enacted a voter initiative in 1989, does require the voter to check a preference for either the Democratic or Republican Party. Selecting either is not binding in any way, other than to vote for the primary candidate for that party on the March 12 ballot. The Kitsap County Auditor's Office, which handles elections in the county, confirmed that the party chosen by a voter, not the candidate, is kept as public record for two months, and political parties and other politically interested people are able to obtain lists showing which party voters selected.

    The change came about in the 1980s to shift Washington from a system where party caucuses chose which candidate would be awarded the delegates from the state. At the time a primary was seen as a way to increase the public's participation in awarding delegates, which the in-person party caucus system could limit, though it changed the state's primary ballot from a "blanket" where Washington voters did not have to indicate a party preference.

    Voter guide: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues

    In the 2020 primary, approximately 50 percent of registered voters in Washington participated, nominating Biden and Trump. Nearly 58 percent of Washington voters voted for Biden in the November 2020 general election.

    Ballot drop boxes are located at 28 sites across Kitsap County, and three locations are open for in-person voting: The Kitsap County Administration Building (619 Division St., Port Orchard), Marvin Williams Recreation Center (725 Park Ave., Bremerton), and Poulsbo Fire Station (911 NE Liberty Road, Poulsbo). For more information visit the Kitsap County Auditor's website, www.kitsap.gov/auditor.

    This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: State's presidential primary election coming Tuesday

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