Brandi Kruse answers some of your most pressing questions about the March 10th presidential primary, with help from Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Washington Republican Party Chair Caleb Heimlich, and the Washington State Democratic Party.
“This is a nominating process for the political party. They want to ensure that the people nominating their standard-bearer, the person who’s going to be on the November general ballot, are the people from their political party … If you want to participate in this primary, you have to say you are a Democrat or a Republican - publicly," Wyman explains.
"You’re making a public declaration of your party affiliation, but who you vote for is still a secret ballot. For Republicans, there’s one candidate on the ballot," Wyman says. This means that if there's no write-in option in your precinct, casting a Republican vote in the primary essentially makes public your support for President Trump's reelection.
Once you send in your ballot, you cannot get another one. A lot can change in the race with Super Tuesday, when several key states cast their primary votes. If you’re a Democrat, you might want to wait until after March 3, because some candidates may drop out of the race.
The ballots had to be printed in January, which means you're going to see candidates on the Democratic primary ballot who have already dropped out of the race. You are free to vote for candidates who are no longer in the race. If candidates who dropped out pick up delegates throughout the primaries, those delegates can be pledged to another candidate after the first round of voting at the nominating convention.