Presidential Primary Election process underway
The King County Records and Elections Division has begun its processing of the 1996 Washington State Presidential Primary Election by mailing ballot application forms to over 150,000 ongoing absentee voters in King County.
The primary, to be held on Tuesday, Mar. 26, is only the second such primary to be held in Washington State. The first was during the 1992 Presidential election year.
There have been several significant changes to the process this year. For the first time, an "unaffiliated" ballot will be made available to voters who request one. The unaffiliated ballot will be used by voters who do not wish to declare an affiliation with one of the two major political parties. If voters did not declare a specific preference in 1992, they were not permitted to vote.
An affiliation application card has been sent to all ongoing absentee voters. It is similar to the declaration that will appear on the poll book pages in the polling places on Mar. 26. Voters are asked to return the appropriate section of the card to apply for a Republican, Democratic, or unaffiliated ballot.
The unaffiliated ballot will contain the names of the presidential candidates for both parties, and the voter can choose any one, but only one of the candidates. If the ongoing absentee voter does not return any portion of the application card, the voter will be sent an unaffiliated ballot.
These ballots will not be mailed until just prior to the primary in order to ensure that voters have had an opportunity to respond.