January 17, 2000
Munro said his office has been scrutinizing national news media coverage of presidential candidates during the past year to determine which candidates would meet the criteria set forth in state law. He said the office also reviewed materials sent by 23 individuals who asked to be placed on Washington state's ballot.
Munro noted that those who did not meet the selection criteria still have the option of gathering petition signatures to qualify for the presidential primary. State law provides that Republican or Democratic presidential candidates can gain a spot on the primary ballot by submitting the signatures of 1,000 registered voters from the state of Washington by January 21, 2000.
Washington's Leap Day presidential primary date was agreed to earlier this year by officials of the major political parties, legislative leaders, and the secretary of State. It will coincide with presidential primaries in North Dakota and Virginia, and will be one week ahead of primaries in 15 states, including California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Washington chose the early primary date to attract presidential candidates and their campaigns to the Pacific Northwest, a strategy that has paid off with repeat visits from most of the major candidates.
Minor party and independent candidates for president are nominated through a separate process and will not appear on the presidential primary ballot. To gain a spot on the Nov. 7 General Election ballot, minor party and independent candidates for president are required to submit 200 valid petition signatures obtained through a nominating convention held between June 24 and July 1, 2000.