Goskagit

With changes coming to the state’s presidential primary election, Skagit County staff spoke Monday about what voters can expect.

This year, Washington will hold its primary on March 10, about two months earlier than recent presidential primaries. The change was made to give the state’s voters more influence in the national selection process.

“They want Washington state to have a stronger voice in national politics,” David Cunningham, elections supervisor for Skagit County, said at an elections event hosted by the League of Women Voters of Skagit County

Republicans and Democrats will use the results of the primary to determine which candidate their delegates will pick.

On the ballot, voters will see candidates from both parties, but can only participate in one party’s primary, Cunningham said. Voters must select a party affiliation on their ballot, and that preference needs to match the primary in which they vote, Cunningham said.

According to a news release from Secretary of State Kim Wyman, President Donald Trump will be the only Republican candidate on the state primary ballot.

Thirteen Democrats will be on the ballot, according to the release.

At the parties’ county conventions — March 28 for the Republicans and May 3 for the Democrats — local party officers will select delegates to send to the state conventions, where they will vote on which delegates to send to the national conventions.

The delegates will support candidates based on the results of the primary, but a candidate must get at least 15% of the vote at the congressional district level to earn delegates.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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