Washington state collects 420K presidential primary ballots

SEATTLE -- More than 420,000 voters in Washington state have sent in their presidential primary ballots two weeks before the votes will be counted.

The Seattle Times reported that the secretary of state's office said about 9.4% of registered voters in the state had cast their ballots as of Wednesday.

Officials say more than 92,000 ballots, representing 7% of registered voters, were collected in King County. Ballots were mailed last week.

About 220,000 Democratic ballots have been received and 185,000 Republican ballots. President Donald Trump is the only Republican running.

The primary ballots in Washington state have been somewhat controversial, as voters are required to pick a party affiliation -- on the outside of the ballot -- in order for their vote to count.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman says her office has received a lot of complaints about having to declare a party on the outside.

But unlike elections, primaries are a party nominating process.

"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 said.