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Choosing our Presidential Candidates—A Long Road with Many Curves

Annette Holcomb | Published on 1/13/2024
The drama to select a presidential candidate will likely continue to grab our attention over the upcoming months with the Iowa State caucus happening as this Voter is published, and then more primary contests to follow.  

Washington State holds its Presidential Primary on March 12.  All registered voters can participate in our unique process. Regardless of party preference, we use the same ballot and vote by mail.  The major political parties require the voter to select his/her party preference on the ballot envelope for the vote to count.  This selection does not enroll the voter as a party member and your party selection will be removed from your voter record 60 days after certification of the Presidential Primary.  See this web page for more information. 

Is this method more small ‘d’ democratic? 
Do you think the result will represent the preference of the majority?   
Does your vote matter in the nomination process?   
The Civics Education team will be sharing more about primary elections over the next few months to help us answer those questions.  

Starting this year,  17-year olds who will become 18 by the date of the general election may participate in the Presidential Primary in Washington.  If you know a young person who fits into this category, let them know about this change and their right to start voting.  They can register online at and will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.

Find out more about the complicated primary process in this fast moving video: 
Primary Elections Explained, by CGP Grey

–Annette Holcomb