The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Bond, presidential primary elections ahead


January 16, 2020

It’s a big year for the Wahkiakum County Auditor’s Office, as far as elections go.

“In the first part of 2020, there are two elections right off the bat,” Deputy Auditor Kaelee Dearmore said.

The February special election is for the school bond, which will be the only issue on the ballot and will only be for voters on the east side of the county.

Ballots will be mailed on Jan. 24 for the Feb. 11 election.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” Dearmore said. “It’s one issue. Should this be approved or no? So that will look like your normal ballot.”

After the February election, they go straight into the March 10 Presidential Primary, which unlike the special election in February, will be county wide.

Ballots will be mailed on February 21.

The ballots, the envelopes, and a declaration for the presidential primary will look different, Dearmore said.

People have to choose their party, Dearmore said. It’s a nomination process. You vote according to party line for this election only. The party preference is on the voter’s record for 60 days and then it is removed.

According to information provided by the Washington Secretary of State, the presidential primary “is a chance to participate in the nomination process for the office of US President,” and “is the only election in which Washington voters are required to mark and sign party declarations written by the major political parties.”

The two major political parties determine which candidates are printed on the combined ballot, which is divided into two sides, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Minor and independent candidates do not participate in this process.

Voters must mark and sign a political party declaration on the return envelope and that declaration must match the political party of the candidate you vote for.

In other words, if one marks R for Republican on the envelope, one must select a Republican candidate. Likewise, if one marks D for Democrat, one must select a Democratic candidate.

Each party uses this information for their own purposes, and it directs delegates to support the candidates that receive votes during this primary at their national convention.

To reiterate, this is simply a nomination process. There will be another primary in August, when voters will narrow down the field of candidates to the top two. At that time, voters will not be required to select a party or sign a party declaration.

Meanwhile, the Auditor’s Office is expecting a boom in registrations, Dearmore said.

Same day registration went into effect last year. People can walk into the Auditor’s office to register to vote until 8 p.m. on election day and still pick up a ballot, but there are limitations with online and mail in registration.


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