FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 25, 2020


Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski released the following statement in response to Secretary of State Kim Wyman announcing she will not vote in the presidential primary due to the requirement to sign a partisan declaration — something she had no problem doing in 2008 or 2016:

“Secretary Wyman can try to run from her and her party’s support for Donald Trump, but she can’t hide from her affiliation with a president who separates families and locks children in cages simply by not voting. The law on the books does not require Secretary Wyman to release party affiliation data to anyone but the state parties who need the information to comply with DNC and RNC rules. She has made a choice to release that data publicly that is now depriving Washington voters — including the Secretary herself — of the right to make a choice about who they want to see on their general election ballot in November.”

Rules for both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee require state parties who use primaries to award delegates to their national conventions to certify that the voters participating in their primaries are members of that party. In states like Washington where party registration is not public record, party affiliation declarations for the limited purpose of complying with these rules are used to make sure the choices made by the voters are part of the nomination process. The 500,000 voters who voted using the unaffiliated primary ballot in 2000, for example, did not have their input considered by either party during their nomination processes as a result.

We at the Washington State Democratic Party have recognized that Washingtonians as a rule prefer to keep their party affiliation private, which is why we worked closely with the legislature in 2019 to ensure that public release of this information was not mandated by the legislation that reformed Washington’s presidential primary to be in compliance with DNC rules and moved our primary much earlier in the Democratic nomination process.

We even revised our party affiliation language to be more inclusive than it was for caucus or primary voters in 2016, examples of which are provided below for reference. We took all of these steps to ensure that as many Washingtonians could participate in the process of choosing our next president as possible; it’s disappointing that Secretary Wyman seems to not share that goal.

Prior party affiliation oaths for background:

2016 Caucus Oath: “I am a registered voter in the precinct named above. I consider myself to be a Democrat and I agree that my attendance at this caucus is a matter of public record.”

2016 Primary Ballot Oath: “I declare that I consider myself to be a DEMOCRAT and I will not participate in the nomination process of any other political party for the 2016 Presidential election.”

2020 Primary Ballot Oath: “I declare that my party preference is the Democratic Party and I will not participate in the nomination process of any other political party for the 2020 Presidential election.”