Election officials in Western Washington say they’re hearing a lot of concern from voters about the state’s upcoming presidential primary.
That’s because in order to cast a ballot, you must check a box on the outside of the ballot return envelope, indicating whether you’re voting Democratic or Republican.
The choice of party is officially known as an “oath,” and is public for 60 days. The parties get the information, too.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson says party rules require voters to declare their affiliation for this election. And while she respects everyone’s right to have an opinion about that, she urges voters not to express that opinion by writing it on their voter envelope, or making any other changes.
“Don’t be cute on your envelope,” she said. “The place to express resistance is not by altering those oaths or marking more than one. Because that’s just going to cost a lot of your hard working tax dollars to correct. We’re required to reach back to you and have you redo it.”
Check one, and then “stay in your lane,” she says. “Pick the blue lane or the red lane, but don’t veer out of your lane.”
And as always, you must sign the return envelope in the space provided in order to have your ballot counted.
After 60 days, your choice of party in this election is wiped out of your voter record. And it only applies to the March 10 presidential primary. In November’s general election, voters may choose any candidate.
Anderson says it’s also important to note that the individual candidate you choose remains confidential.