FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 8, 2019
WASHINGTON STATE: On Sunday, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee voted 121 – 40 to use the March 2020 primary results, not caucuses, to apportion delegates. Delegates to the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for July 2020 in Milwaukee, will still be chosen by caucus votes.
Tina Podlodowski, Chair of the Washington State Democrats, issued the following statement:
“Presidential candidates come to Washington State for our generous donors, now they will stay for our smart voters.
With the change from a caucus to primary system, Washington will now be the 15th state to hold a primary in 2020, right after Super Tuesday. We’re excited for every Democratic candidate to visit Washington in the next 10 months. When they come to the other Washington, they will hear from our voters about everything from saving orcas to ensuring everyone has access to affordable healthcare.
A huge thank you to the Democratic Party legislators, volunteers, and staff who spent two years working hard to solve the caucus dilemma – how do we empower voters to become more involved in politics while also enabling all Democrats to have a voice in who our state supports for President? I believe we’ve found a strong solution – a vote by mail primary combined with on-the ground grassroots organizing at the legislative district level.
I’m proud to be a Washington State Democrat this morning, and I invite all Presidential candidates to work directly with us to visit our awesome Democrats across the state. It’s not just about Seattle. From Bellingham to Yakima, Vancouver to Spokane, come talk to our voters, and support our grassroots organizing and empowerment. It’s what Washington State Dems do best!”
Until now, the state’s Democratic voters had used a caucus-only system praised for its community atmosphere and criticized for its sometimes chaotic and exclusionary process. More than 12,800 people submitted their votes and comments to the WA Democrats; 93.6% of those submitting votes supported the primary-caucus hybrid ratified today.
Washington State recently passed changes to Washington’s presidential primary to move the date from late May to the second Tuesday in March, and to bring it into compliance with DNC rules, allowing the primary to be used for delegate apportionment. Before these changes, Washington’s government-run primary did not comply with DNC rules for use to apportion delegates and the results of these elections were not factored in to Washington’s Democratic delegate apportionment.