Washington's presidential primary only counts for the GOP - KPTV - FOX 12

Washington's presidential primary only counts for the GOP

Posted: Updated:
KPTV file image KPTV file image

By RACHEL LA CORTE
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - More than a million voters have sent in their ballots for Washington state's presidential primary, even though the results will be used only to allocate delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Washington has both a presidential primary and a caucus system. Democrats opted for the caucus system to allocate their delegates and will therefore ignore the results of Tuesday's primary.

But the parties see at least one shared benefit of the statewide election. Washington has no party registration, but the primary requires voters to attest to being a member of the Republican or Democratic Party. That gives the state parties important information for their voter lists.

Here's what to expect Tuesday:

THE BALLOT

More than 4 million voters received a ballot in the mail this month. It lists both Republican and Democratic candidates for president, even though voters can pick only one party and vote for one candidate.

Donald Trump is the only candidate remaining in the Republican contest. However, John Kasich and Ted Cruz are still on the ballot because they suspended their campaigns in early May, after the ballots were printed. Ben Carson, who ended his campaign in March, remains on the ballot because he never submitted a withdrawal of candidacy with the state.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are listed for the Democratic race.

ELECTION NIGHT

Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or deposited in an elections drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday. The state's 39 counties will begin reporting numbers after 8 p.m., and most will provide daily updates as more votes are processed and arrive by mail. Results will be posted on vote.wa.gov.

HOW THE REPUBLICAN DELEGATES ARE ALLOCATED

State Republicans will send 44 delegates to the July national convention in Cleveland. Thirty will be allocated proportionally based on candidate percentages in the congressional districts - three delegates from each of the 10 districts.

If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in a congressional district, they get all three of that district's delegates. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent and two candidates get more than 20 percent, the one with the most gets two delegates. If three candidates get more than 20 percent, each is allocated one delegate.

Fourteen at-large delegates, which include three Republican National Committee members, will be allocated according to the statewide primary votes. Those delegates are allocated proportionally to candidates with at least 20 percent of the statewide vote.

The delegates were chosen over the weekend at the state Republican convention, but they won't know who they're representing until the primary results. Of the 41 elected delegates, 40 were Cruz supporters. However, under party rules, each delegate is bound to the primary results for the first round of voting at the national convention.

WHAT DO DEMOCRATS DO?

Sanders overwhelmingly won the district caucuses March 26. Following the congressional district caucuses over the weekend, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party said 74 delegates will go to Sanders and 27 to Clinton.

Washington Democrats also will send 17 superdelegates to the national convention. Superdelegates are technically unpledged party and elected leaders, but a majority of them - including Gov. Jay Inslee and the state's congressional delegation - say they support Clinton.

WHY HOLD A PRIMARY IF ONLY ONE PARTY USES THE RESULTS AND ONLY ONE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE REMAINS?

State law requires the primary be held on the fourth Tuesday in May of a presidential year unless the Legislature cancels it. Lawmakers have done that before, most recently in 2012 for budgetary reasons.

This year, both chambers and the governor signed off on the $11.5 million price tag for the primary. Neither the majority Republicans in the Senate nor the majority Democrats in the House advanced bills to cancel it.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.