Presidential primary election ballots due today

Vote determines delegates to national conventions

Washington state’s presidential primary ballots are due today, with Republicans and Democrats.

Voters must return ballots, which were mailed Feb. 23, by 8 p.m. today, either by getting them into the mail before 5 p.m. or dropping them into a drop box by 8 p.m. to be counted.

Voters must commit to one party and vote for one candidate.

On the Democratic ballot, that means voters have a choice among President Joe Biden, Dean Phillips, Marianne Williamson or Uncommitted Delegates.

The latter is not on the Republican ballot. It is a protest vote of Biden’s policy concerning Israel and Gaza. The Uncommitted WA coalition is asking the Biden administration to cut funding for Israel’s military and call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Voting for uncommitted delegates means the voter wants to send delegates to the Democratic National Convention who aren’t pledged to Biden.

Such delegates can cast votes for any candidate at the convention, which is when the party formally chooses its 2024 presidential nominee. At least 15 percent of votes in Washington’s Democratic primary need to be cast for “uncommitted delegates” for the state to send an unpledged delegate pool to the DNC.

The Republican ballot lists Donald J. Trump, the presumptive nominee, as well as Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy.

Clallam County voter turnout as of 5 p.m. Monday was 35.06 percent, with 20,056 ballots returned out of 57,210 issued to registered voters; of those, 18,181, or 31.78 percent, have been accepted, with 1,875 ballots or 9.35 percent challenged.

Jefferson County voter turnout as of 5 p.m. Monday was 44.38 percent, with 12,215 ballots returned out of 27,523 issued to registered voters; of those, 11,855, or 43.07 percent, have been accepted, with 360 ballots or 2.95 percent challenged.

Ballots can be challenged because of a missing signature or other issues. County election officials contact those voters whose ballots have been challenged to allow them to cure their ballots.

Voting in both the Democratic and Republican Party contests will void a ballot as will voting for more than one candidate.

Three of the nine drop boxes are at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles. Two are outside the building and one is in the elections office in Room 42. The other six are in Carlsborg at 261461 U.S. Highway 101 near Sunny Farms, adjacent to Mill Road; Clallam Bay at 16990 state Highway 112 in front of the Clallam Bay Library; Forks at 500 E. Division St., outside Forks City Hall; Neah Bay at 1450 Bayview Ave., in front of Washburn’s General Store; Sekiu at 15 Sekiu Airport Road; and Sequim in the parking lot at 651 W. Washington St.

Official ballot drop boxes are located at the Jefferson County Courthouse, 1820 Jefferson St., Port Townsend; the Brinnon Community Center, 306144 U.S. Highway 101; the Quilcene Community Center, 294952 U.S. Highway 101; the Jefferson County Public Library, 620 Cedar Ave., Port Hadlock; the Nordland Fire Station, 6633 Flagler Road, Nordland; the Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitor Center, 93 Beaver Valley Road, Port Ludlow; and the Queets Tribal Office in Queets.

For more information on candidates, see www.clallamcountywa.gov/elections.

For a list of donors to presidential candidates’ campaigns, see www.fec.gov.

The election will be certified on March 22.

Additional information can be found at the Jefferson County Auditor’s website, co.jefferson.wa.us/1266/Elections or at 360-385-9117 and at the Clallam County Auditor’s website at https://www.clallamcountywa.gov/162/Elections-Voter-Registration or 360-417-2217.

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