Why Do WA Voters Have To Mark Their Party Affiliation On Their Ballot In The Presidential Primary?

(upbeat music) – Hi, I’m Scott Leadingham. Thanks for joining us here
in the unique Northwest. The presidential primary
season is upon us, and it’s a little or,
well, a lot different this time around for
Washington voters. Melissa Santos is well
versed in all of it. She’s a political reporter for Cascade Public
Media and Crosscut. As far
as Washington state and the county election
systems are concerned, they’re really just
essentially helping the parties facilitate their own
nominating processes, right? And in that way–
– Yep. So in that
way it’s quite different than the elections that we
see for primaries in August that we’ll vote on for
governor or state house races, where anyone can vote
for any candidate regardless of party
in the top two, regardless of what
party they are with, go to the November election. So this is quite different. – It’s very different. So voters, you’ll have
actually to check a box saying what party you
are affiliated with, or at least for this
election, who you prefer, which party you prefer
for your vote to count. And that’s not something
Washington voters
are used to doing in general for any
other election, certainly not for
the state primary that is used for
every other election, except for the presidential one. – Right, and you’ve been hearing
from voters, like you said. I know Crosscut has
been doing some polling ahead of the primary on Tuesday. So what you’ve been hearing
from voters, I’m curious. What have they been saying? Like, is this confusing? Or they don’t like that they have to declare
a party preference? Or they’re concerned
about something else like election security? I’ll note that this week, Secretary of State Kim
Wyman who’s a Republican who oversees all the
elections in the state said she wouldn’t
be participating for certain political reasons. – Yeah, I do think
voters are confused. One, why do I have
to declare a party in order to participate in this? I never have to do that. And also some people just
don’t like having to do that ’cause I think
voters in Washington historically consider themselves
to be pretty independent. or the other doesn’t fit
well with people sometimes. The other thing though, I also have heard
concerns from some, what’s to stop Republicans from voting in the
Democratic primary for some, for a Democrat they
think it’s more likely to be easily beaten
by President Trump. So there’s also
concern on both sides a little bit about this whole, the way this party
affiliation thing works and the way primaries works. I get a lot of feedback on it, but mostly people do not
like the party declaration is what I’m hearing. – See all of Melissa’s
reporting on these and other topics
at crosscut.com. And for more elections
and voting news, come to the Vote 2020
page of nwpb.org. Thank you for joining us
here in the unique Northwest. (upbeat music) (electronic music)
(birds chirping)

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