2020 Primary, Caucus, and Convention

2020 Presidential Primary

For this cycle, the Washington Democratic Party will be holding a primary March 10th. WA registered voters will vote for their Democratic candidate of choice by mail through their County Auditor’s office. Voters can register up to the day of the election. Those who are registered will receive ballots in the mail starting Feb. 19th, and they must be returned using the pre-paid postage envelope or placed in a local ballot box by 8 PM, March 10th.


This is the only election in which Washington’s voters are required to mark and sign party declarations written by the major political parties.

Vote for only one. Both the Democratic and Republican ballots will appear on a single (consolidated) ballot. Unlike other elections, you may only vote for one printed candidate on the entire ballot page.

Party Declaration. You must mark and sign a political party declaration on the ballot return envelope. The declaration must match your voted candidate’s political party.

Q: Why do I need to mark a party box?

A: You must mark and sign the party declaration on your envelope for your vote to count per RCW 29.56.050. Your choice of party will not affect how you may vote in future elections. Attempts to change the party declaration wording could result in your ballot not being counted. Each major party wrote its declaration and provided it to the Secretary of State’s Office for ballot materials. In the November General Election, you will not declare a party and may vote for any presidential candidate you wish.

Q: Can I vote for a candidate from each political party?

A: No. Your ballot is divided into 2 sides: Democratic Party (blue) and Republican Party (red). For your vote to count, you must vote for one candidate from the political party you marked on your envelope. If you vote both sides of the ballot, and the opposite side of the ballot, your vote will not count. Ballots are mailed February 21, 2020.

Q: What is the difference between a primary and a caucus?

A: The Presidential Primary is a process of collecting votes for presidential candidates from Washington voters that sign a political party declaration and return ballot. Caucuses are run by each party to determine issues for party platforms and to select the delegates who will participate in state and national party conventions. For more information about caucuses, please contact info@thurstondemocrats.org. Also see, WA State Delegate Selection Plan

Q: Can I participate in both the Presidential Primary and a caucus?

A: Yes. Voters may participate in political party caucuses and the Presidential Primary, but only on behalf of the same party. Every voter participating in the Presidential Primary must sign a party declaration stating that the voter has not participated in the other party’s caucus process. Per state law, each party receives a list of voters who chose to affiliate with that party in the Presidential Primary only.

Q: What is the difference between this primary and the Top 2 Primary in August?

A: The Presidential Primary in March is a nomination process conducted for major political party candidates for US President only. The August Primary is when voters in our state winnow down the field of candidates to the Top 2 finishers who qualify for the November General Election (Nov 3rd). Voters are not required to pick a party. You will not sign a party declaration to participate in the August Primary nor the November General Election.

Primary/Delegate Allocation

All ballots cast for candidates who “dropped out” are counted and part of the total. If a candidate who has “dropped out” receives above 15% of the vote that candidate still will receive delegates to national convention.

Candidates who receive below 15% who will not receive delegates, and the remaining candidates who received above 15% will receive delegates proportionately to their vote totals, but if a candidate does not receive 15% of the vote that candidate cannot be moved up to a higher total percentage because people have dropped out.

Candidates who qualified for the Democratic Primary and who will appear in alphabetical order on the March 10 Ballot:

  • Michael Bennet (dropped out)
  • Joe Biden
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Cory Booker (campaign suspended)
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • John Delaney (dropped out)
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Deval Patrick
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Tom Steyer
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Andrew Yang (campaign suspended)

Legislative District LD22 Caucus and LD20 Sub-Caucus

Legislative Caucuses will be held:

Sunday, May 3rd @ 9:00 AM

Komachin Middle School

Lacey, WA

LD2 and LD35 will be held Sunday, April 26th.


Anyone who plans to participate in the LD caucuses must be a registered voter living within their respective LD and declare themselves a democrat.


Any qualified attendee can participate and vote for their top delegates to represent their preferred presidential candidate to the State Convention. Voting will be done by paper ballot at the caucus.

Become a Legislative Delegate

A qualified attendee is also eligible to run for LD delegate. Those planning on becoming a delegate can nominate themselves by signing up (using Google form) with the WA State Democratic Party and get on their Mailing List for potential delegates. Self-nominations can also come on the day of the LD Caucuses.

The primary duty of a delegate is to attend the state convention on June 11-13 in Tacoma, WA to cast a vote for their presidential preference.

Thurston County Convention

The County Convention will be held after the LD caucus on:

Sunday, May 3rd @ 1:00 PM

Komachin Middle School

Lacey, WA

Any registered voter claiming to be a democrat can participate and help shape the Thurston County Democrats’ platform regarding the issues facing our community.

The draft platform will be released closer to the convention. If you would like to be on the platform committee, please email: volunteer@thurstondemocrats.org

Washington State Democratic Convention

The convention will be held:

June 11-13

Tacoma Convention Center

Tacoma, WA

Only LD delegates, elected state committee representatives, and elected officials can attend. WA State Delegate Selection Plan

More information to come.

Key Dates

January 7 – Deadline for each major political party to submit their final list of candidates to be printed on their side of the ballot. Once the names are submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State, changes cannot be made. (RCW 29A.56). The same candidates will appear in the printed Voter’s Pamphlet and online Voter’s Guide.

January 25th – Military and overseas ballots and Voter’s Pamphlets are mailed.

February 12 to 21 – 3.4 million Voter’s Pamphlets are mailed statewide.

February 21 – Ballots are mailed to every registered voter and voting centers are opened.

March 2 – Deadline for online registrations and address updates; mailed registrations must be received by an elections official, not postmarked.

March 10 – Presidential Primary

  • Last day to register or update in person at the county elections office.
  • Mailed ballots must have a March 10 postmark to count.
  • All returned ballots must have a valid signature.
  • Ballot boxes and voting centers close at 8:00 p.m.
  • After 8:00 p.m., counties begin transmission of results to the Secretary of State.

March 27 – Last day for Secretary of State to certify Presidential Primary results.

April 26 & May 3 – Legislative districts (LD) hold their caucuses around the state to elect delegates for each candidate.

June 11-13 – WA State Democratic Convention, Tacoma Convention Center Tacoma, WA. The LD delegates will vote on the state party’s platform and resolutions. Also, the delegates will have the opportunity to run for a National Delegate spot for WA State on behalf of their preferred candidate.

July 13-16 The Democrats will hold their National Convention with each states’ pledged delegates and automatic delegates to officially nominate the Democratic nominee for US President. The 2020 Democratic National Convention will be in Milwaukee, WI.

November 3 – General election for the US.


Thurston County Auditor's Website

WA State Delegate Selection Plan


Issues with this page? Please email: TCDTech@thurstondemocrats.org

Last Updated: 14-FEB-20