2020 Election

Attention, Seattle Voters: Primary Ballots Are in the Mail

It actually counts this time. We swear.

By Benjamin Cassidy February 21, 2020

It's drop box season again.

Check your mailboxes (the physical ones), Seattle. On Wednesday, King County Elections began sending out primary ballots that are due back by mail, or by visiting a drop box or voting center, by 8 p.m. on March 10.

While President Donald Trump is the only Republican on the ballot, 13 Democrats will vie for Washington’s 89 delegates. (Eighteen automatic delegates will pledge their allegiances at the national convention.) Not all will truly be competing—Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, John Delaney, and Andrew Yang have dropped out of the race, and Deval Patrick has suspended his campaign—but more than a handful of other contenders will certainly try to snag as much Washington support as possible. Dems can also select "uncommitted delegates," a choice that empowers Washington delegates to decide the nominee on voters' behalf at the national convention. A bit odd, but chronic "where should we eat tonight?" deflectors may feel seen by this option.

Some of the living and breathing candidates have been visiting the state in advance of the final tally. On Monday, Bernie Sanders drew more than 17,000 to a rally at the Tacoma Dome. Pete Buttigieg held a fundraiser at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center. And Elizabeth Warren will hold a rally at the Seattle Center Armory on Saturday. Other candidates stopped by in late 2019.

This attention is just what Washington's Democratic leaders envisioned when they voted to apportion the state's delegates based on the primary rather than caucuses, which will still be used to elect delegates (like, the actual humans) for the upcoming conventions. Critically, governor Jay Inslee had signed a bill last year that moved the primary up in the election cycle; in 2016, it was held in May. By then, Democrats had already doled out delegates based on March caucus results, and Trump had already established himself as the GOP nominee. Basically, that primary didn’t matter. This one will.

Voters will have to select one party’s ballot to fill out. That information will be public record for 60 days. If you don’t receive a ballot in the mail by Monday, contact King County Elections at 206-296-VOTE (8683).

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