WASHINGTON DEMOCRATS VOTE TO MOVE FROM CAUCUS TO PRIMARY SYSTEM
Democrats Adopt March 2020 State-Run Primary Election
Caucuses Still Choose Who Goes to DNC Convention
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 7, 2019
PASCO, WA: Washington’s Democrats will nominate their favorite candidate for President using government-issued mail-in-ballots instead of weekend caucus meetings held in churches and gymnasiums.
“Democrats in Washington are ready for the big show in 2020,” said Tina Podlodowski, Chair of the Washington State Democrats. “We look forward to more Presidential candidate attention and visits, increasing voter and activist engagement, and lifting up Democrats at all levels on the 2020 ballot.”
Today, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee voted 121 – 40 to use the March 2020 primary results to apportion delegates. Delegates to the Democratic National Convention, scheduled for July 2020 in Milwaukee, will still be chosen by caucus votes.
Next, the state Democrats will send their plan to the DNC for approval.
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.
One commenter, Nick Rosenbladt in Lakewood, submitted that “The caucus system doesn’t allow the majority of voters to participate. Work and child care scheduling has prohibited my wife and me from ever attending a caucus, and we vote in every election. More voters will be heard if more voters have the opportunity.”
Another commenter, Stephanie Kountorous in Bellingham, submitted that “Caucuses give us the chance to meet neighbors and really talk about candidates and issues. More importantly – caucuses give every citizen a chance to be a party delegate and represent their views and communities. With a caucus system, WA State has had one of the most consistently diverse delegations representing our state over history.” Kountorous is a former State Committeewoman and party vice-chair.
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.