Ballots will be mailed May 4 to all Whatcom County registered voters for Washington's 2016 Presidential Primary Election.
The 18-day voting period for the state’s Presidential Primary ends May 24. Ballots must be returned or postmarked by that date. Voters who wait until a couple of days before the deadline to fill out their ballot are urged to use a ballot drop box provided by the county to help ensure their vote counts.
The last day for online or mail-in voter registration or changing one’s address before the Presidential Primary is April 25. Whatcom County residents who are not registered to vote in Washington have until May 16 to do so in person at the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, located at 311 Grand Ave., Suite 103, Bellingham. Office hours are 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
Registration forms, election ballots, voting assistance for elderly and disabled persons, and other election and voter registration information are available at the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office or call (360) 778-5102. We gladly accept relay calls.
Washington households will receive a state Presidential Primary Voters’ Pamphlet around the same time that ballots are sent. Voters who don’t receive a Voters’ Pamphlet should contact the Office of Secretary of State’s Election Division at (360) 902-4180, (800) 448-4881, or email@example.com.
Counties sent Presidential Primary ballots to military and overseas voters in early April, signaling the start of voting on favorites for the Republican and Democratic nominations.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman is forecasting a 42 percent voter turnout for the state Presidential Primary, Washington’s first since 2008.
Both parties also held caucuses, with Democrats using theirs as the method of allocating national convention delegates. Republicans will use the primary to allocate 100 percent of their 44 delegates to the national convention.
The state’s Presidential Primary law, passed overwhelmingly by Democratic and Republican lawmakers as a citizen Initiative to the Legislature in 1989, provides for the quadrennial election, but allows the parties to choose what to do with the results.
Auditor Adelstein reminds voters that this is the one election where it is required to identify with a political party in order for your vote to count. It will be necessary to mark a Democratic or Republican Party selection and the vote cast must match that party. A record of what party was selected is maintained for 60 days and then it is removed from the voter’s registration information. Voters who do not wish to make a party selection are not required to vote.
Here is an FAQ on the Presidential Primary: http://tinyurl.com/hx2pgub
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will appear on the Democratic ballot for the state’s Presidential Primary, while Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump will be on the Republican ballot. Carson, who suspended his campaign in early March, is on the Republican ballot because state law calls for only candidates to remove themselves from the state’s Presidential Primary. Carson did not do so by the March 18 deadline.