Washington state is one wacky place. Most states have a primary or a caucus. Washington state holds a primary and a caucus. Huh? I was confused, so I went to the Washington Secretary of State’s website and did some research. Here’s the deal:
The caucus, for both Dems and Repubs, will be held this Saturday, February 9. Voters appear, swear their allegiance to their chosen party, and caucus for the candidate of their choice. For Dems, it’s essentially over, as this is the whole enchilada. The Democratic party counts only the caucus results in allocating delegates to the national convention.
On Tuesday, February 19, a primary will be held, apparently to cover those voters who are not able to caucus because they’re working, ill, infirm, etc. The primary, as mentioned, does not count at all for Democrats. It does, however, count for Republicans. Following the crazy math that is elections, Republicans allocate their delegates to the convention based on 51% of the caucus results and 49% of the primary results. For both parties, you’re voting for the same candidates at both the caucus and the primary.
Any voter can vote in both the caucus and the primary, but cannot cross parties to do so. A voter must swear her allegiance to the party in the caucus and then again in the primary. Poll workers at the primary will have the allegiance lists from the caucuses to make sure no one is cheating.
Still confused? Here’s the bottom line:
If you’re a Democrat: Caucus. The primary is a waste of time.
If you’re a Republican: Caucus or vote in the primary. Either way, your vote will count.
I hope this clears up the issue some. No matter who you are or where you are, if your primary is yet to come … VOTE!