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Ballots arrive in mailboxes next month: Changes in voting procedure for presidential primary

Friends of Rocky Prairie at the Olympia Food Co-op gathering signatures to petition Thurston County Commissioners concerning the industrial cargo center already underway near Millersylvania State Park. Friends of Rocky Prairie say the Port of Tacoma, working with a Missouri company on the 6 million sq. ft. “intermodal” (i.e., truck and rail) cargo center, needs to re-zone the area from rural to industrial status. Visit Friends of Rocky Prairie. for more details.

If you’re planning to vote in Washington state’s Democratic Presidential Primary, be prepared for some big changes this year. The caucus has been replaced by a vote-by-mail primary. Ballots will arrive in mailboxes February 21, 2020, making Washington one of the earliest states to vote. That means your vote will play a big part in building momentum for the candidate who will face Trump in the general election.

To ensure your ballot arrives on time and is counted, Our Revolution Thurston (ORT) recommends you mail it back right away. The remote registration deadline is March 2. You can register in person in the Auditors office up until 8pm on Election Day, March 10. Although Washington doesn’t require you to register your party preference to vote in the general election, for the Democratic primary you’ll be asked to declare as a Democrat. The final deadline to get your ballot in is March 10.

ORT has endorsed Bernie Sanders and is working hard to get the word out. In addition to weekly events at the Olympia Farmers Market and Burial Grounds, they are building momentum with events both independent of and in coordination with the campaign, including “debate watch” parties and phone banking events. ORT is also active in the local Democratic Party.

On December 6, ORT joined Olympia Climate Strikers calling for action from local elected officials to address the climate crisis. The same day, national climate strike organizers endorsed Sanders, who attended a climate strike in Iowa. Sunrise Movement—the youth-led organization working to get a Green New Deal passed—gave Sanders the highest score of any presidential candidate for his climate crisis platform.

Sanders’ role in the Congressional Progressive Caucus is another reason for ORT’s endorsement. Sanders co-founded this. the second-largest caucus within the Democratic Party, in 1991 and remains the only presidential candidate who is a member. Sanders, aka “The Amendment King.” is known for his ability to work across the aisle to get legislation passed that addresses the needs of working and oppressed people.

Updated (1/10/2020) with remote and in-person registration deadlines per Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall’s comment below.


  1. Mary Hall January 5, 2020

    Correction: The remote registration deadline is March 2. You can register in person in the Auditors office up until 8pm on Election Day, March 10.
    Mary Hall
    Thurston County Auditor

    • Carolyn Roos January 10, 2020

      Thank you, Mary! The article has been updated to reflect your comment.

  2. Sharon Abreu January 7, 2020

    My understanding is that it would be better to wait to mail in or drop off ballots until after Super Tuesday on March 3, since some of the presidential candidates will likely drop out of the race if they don’t do well. 35% of the delegates are allocated on Super Tuesday – that’s more than one-third of the delegates. So people should hold onto their ballots until March 4th.
    I am encouraging people to vote for Bernie Sanders. I believe he has the best policies, the strongest track record for walking his talk over many years, and I also believe he is the most likely to defeat Donald Trump in the general election.

    • Tim Carr January 10, 2020

      I am also a Sanders supporter and i disagree. Vote your conscious not who is trending.

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