OLYMPIA, Wash.Washington state’s 2024 Presidential Primary Election takes place on Tuesday, March 12 and features three Democratic and five Republican candidates.

Washington’s Presidential Primary was created in 1989 to have voters participate more in the process of electing the President of the United States (POTUS).

How does the Presidential Primary work in Washington state?

According to the Washington Secretary of State Elections Division, state law sets the date-setting process, how candidates get on the ballot, and how parties use the results.

The Presidential Primary is the only election in Washington that requires voters to mark and sign party declarations written by the major political parties. Your ballot is divided into two sides: Democratic Party (blue) and Republican Party (red). You must vote for one candidate from the political party you marked on your envelope. If you vote both sides of the ballot, or the opposite side of the ballot, your vote will not count.

In the November General Election, you do not need to declare a party and you can choose any candidate. Washington has 12 Electoral College votes, the 13th most of any state.

Back in January, the Washington Secretary of State announced candidate lists were complete. The state Democratic Party submitted three candidate names: Joseph R. Biden Jr., Dean Phillips, and Marianne Williamson. The Washington State Republican Party submitted five candidate names for the Presidential Primary: Donald J. Trump, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Chris Christie.

While some candidates have dropped out of the race, their names will still appear on the printed ballots.

When do I receive my ballot? When is it due?

Registered voters will receive a ballot in the mail after Feb. 23. Voters need to return their ballots in an official ballot dropbox or make sure the ballot is postmarked by 8:00 p.m. on March 12.

This year’s Presidential Primary will take place one week after Super Tuesday when 14 states hold primary elections.

The Democratic Party will select its nominee at the 2024 Democratic National Convention Aug. 19-22 in Chicago. Washington has 111 delegates.

The Republican Party’s convention takes place July 15-18 in Milwaukee. Washington will have an estimated 43 delegates.

To find out exactly what’s on your ballot and get a customized voter guide, go to VoteWA.gov.

Below you will find important information on voting in Washington state, including how to register to vote, the vote by mail process, and key dates you need to know:

RELATED: Key things to know from the 2024 Iowa Republican caucuses

Key dates you need to know

January 9 – Deadline for each major political party to submit their final list of candidates to be printed on their side of the ballot. Once the names are submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State, changes cannot be made (RCW29A.56.031). The same candidates will appear in the printed Voters’ Pamphlet and online Voters’ Guide.

January 27 – Military and overseas ballots and Voters’ Pamphlets are mailed.

February 14 thru 23 –Voters’ Pamphlets are mailed to every household.

February 23 – Start of 18-day voting period (through Election Day). Ballots are mailed to every registered voter and voting centers are open with Accessible Voting Units (AVUs). Voters must mark one party box and sign the declaration on the return envelope.

March 4 – Deadline for online and by mail registration and address updates. Mailed registrations must be received by an elections official by this date, not postmarked by this date.

March 12 – Presidential Primary

  • Last day to register or update in person at a county elections office.

  • Mailed ballots must have a March 12 postmark to count.

  • Ballot boxes and voting centers close at 8:00 p.m.

  • After 8:00 p.m., counties begin transmission of results to the Secretary of State.

March 29 – Last day for Secretary of State to certify Presidential Primary results.

July, August – The major political parties hold conventions to officially nominate their candidates for U.S. President. The 2024 Democratic National Convention is August 19-22, 2024, and the Republican National Convention is July 15-18, 2024.

How do I register to vote?

The Secretary of State allows you to register to vote online here. If you don’t have a Washington state driver’s license or ID card, you’ll have to register in person or by mail.

If you need to check your voter registration information, you can click here and verify your personal information, including your address.

How do I learn more about candidates and offices?

A voters’ pamphlet will be mailed to each household with a registered voter. You can also get more information from the Secretary of State here.

You can also see who is running on a federal level, state level and for Legislature here.

Where do I vote?

Your ballot materials are mailed to the address where you’re registered to vote. Be sure to sign your return envelope. Then drop your ballot at an official drop box or return by mail. No stamp is needed.

You can view a list of drop box locations here. The list will continue to be updated through election day.

This map includes statewide locations of ballot drop boxes and voting centers for the current election. View all available locations, or drill down by selecting a specific county and location type.

For more details on your county locations, contact your local elections office, or for a personalized list sign in to VoteWA.gov.

Additional Resources

Source: Washington Secretary of State Elections Division

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