If you’ve been too distracted to vote in Washington’s March presidential primary, there’s still time – even if you are not yet registered to vote.
Ballots must returned to a drop box by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, or postmarked by midnight. At this point, elections officials advise using the drop box option to ensure votes are in on time.
Thanks to a law passed last year, Washington residents can register to vote up to 8 p.m. on Election Day by showing in-person to an Election Center. There are six of them in King County: in Seattle, Renton, Bellevue, Kent, Kenmore and Federal Way.
For the first time, Washington’s primary is being used by both major parties to allocate delegates for their presidential nominations. On the Democratic side, 13 candidates are listed on the ballot, but the race has boiled down to the two remaining contenders: former Vice President Joe Biden, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. On the Republican ballot, only President Donald Trump is listed.
Voters must declare a partisan preference on their ballots – and vote only in that party’s primary – for the votes to count. As of Friday evening more than 1 million ballots already had been returned, with nearly 800,000 Washingtonians voting in the Democratic primary, and about 500,000 in the Republican primary.
King County Elections spokeswoman Halei Watkins cautioned voters against writing snarky comments on their ballots.
She said a significant number of people have been voting properly in the Democratic or Republican contest, but then writing comments on the other party’s line for write-in votes — invalidating the ballot.
“It is not exclusive to either party, but it is something we have started to notice,” Watkins said.