Primary elections, caucuses

You may have noticed that this is a presidential election year. The majority of states hold primary elections to select presidential candidates, while 13 states hold caucuses for this purpose. The state of Washington has both. Republicans held a caucus on February 20 which has no bearing on the choice of a candidate. Only the primary election on May 24 counts for the Republican selection. The Democrats hold a caucus on March 26 to choose a candidate. Only the caucus results count in the Democratic selection. The May primary has no bearing on the selection. Just a little confusing, eh?

On the Democratic  Party side, it is entirely the caucuses that decide Washington’s choice of presidential candidate. You must attend the caucus to vote on a choice between the two Democratic candidates.  The final choice of a candidate to run in the November 8th national election is made at the National Democratic Convention (July 25–July 28, 2016).

All around the state on Saturday, March 26, at 10 a.m. to 12 noon, citizens who would like to participate in choosing the Democratic Nominee for President will gather at various locations to conduct a caucus. The caucus on Orcas will be held in the cafeteria at the public school in Eastsound. Everyone needs to arrive BEFORE 10 a.m. to sign in; under state party requirements, doors will be locked at 10 a.m.

You must be a registered voter to participate in the caucus – Except if you are 17 years old, but will be 18 by the time of the election on Nov. 8, you can still participate in the caucus.

And you can register online http://www.sos.wa.govelections/myvote/olvr.html. You can also register to vote at the Democratic caucus and participate in the caucus on the same day. If you are unable to attend the precinct caucuses?

The Washington State Democrats’ Delegate Selection and Affirmative Action Plan allows anyone who cannot attend the caucuses for one of a number of defined reasons will be allowed to submit a “surrogate affidavit”, allowing them to cast their vote remotely. Reasons include Religious Observation, work schedule (scheduled to work and cannot get time off), religious observation, military service, disability or illness. Forms may be downloaded from sjdemocrats.org/  Surrogate affidavit Forms must be received by the State Party on or before March 18 at 5 p.m. If you have questions you can email thesjcdems@gmail.com, or call 378-1082. If you have questions contact Levi Rawls at 929-4164.

Betty Bartleson

Orcas Island