Updated Presidential Primary/Caucus/Convention Procedure

Updated Presidential Primary/Caucus/Convention Procedure

by David Turnoy

San Juan County Democrats

The procedure for choosing presidential nominees has changed from four years ago. This year both the Democrats and Republicans will be choosing their nominees based on the presidential primary election (vote by mail) that ends March 10. For Republicans, this is not new, but for Democrats, this will be the first time that your vote in the primary matters.

In the past, Democrats had to attend a crowded caucus in order to vote for their preferred candidate, and candidates were awarded delegates based on the outcome of these caucuses. This year, you simply vote by mail, and any presidential candidate who receives at least 15 percent of the vote will be awarded delegates, the number depending on the percentage of the vote won by each candidate.

The presidential primary ballot will look different than other ballots you have received before. Whereas we are an open primary state here in Washington, which means you don’t have to declare a political party preference to vote, in this one case you will have to choose a party. If you want to vote for a Democratic candidate for president, you will have to choose the Democratic Party on your ballot. You may indeed consider yourself an Independent, and normally that is fine, but in this one instance you will need to choose, as there will only be the options of voting for a Democratic candidate or a Republican candidate. One side of the ballot will be Democrats, the other side will be Republicans. On the back of the ballot you will have to declare that you consider yourself a Democrat (or Republican) for this election, and then you must sign your name. If you want your ballot to count, you must do these things. Once you have voted, send in your ballot, and you will have fulfilled your duty.

However, if you would like to run to be a state delegate to the Democratic Party Congressional District Caucus — where national convention delegates will be chosen May 30 — or if you would like to help choose the delegates who will represent the county, a county caucus will take place at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, May 3 at the Grange in Friday Harbor. If you would like to run for delegate on May 3, it is advisable to register in advance, preferably by April 20. To do so, go to the following link: https://wademscaucus2020.azurewebsites.net/.

As we get further into the process this year, I will try to publish subsequent articles. If you want to ask a question, you can email me at davidgeri@centurylink.net. For those who would like to receive more detailed information on this and other topics related to the San Juan County Democratic Party, you can email me a request to be placed on our email list.