WA Presidential Primary saw large turnout despite limited candidates involved

Washington Presidential Primary election results certified Friday by Secretary of State Steve Hobbs show the second-most votes counted of any Presidential Primary in Washington history.

More than 1.7 million Washingtonians participated in the Presidential Primary, a 35.3% turnout of the state’s 4.8 million registered voters.

In 2020, nearly 2.3 million voters — a record 49.6% turnout — participated in that year’s Presidential Primary.

Washington’s previous highest number of Presidential Primary voters was 1.3 million in 2000.

 “We had a sizable turnout for this election considering that both parties’ nomination processes were down to clear frontrunners by the time Washington’s turn to participate came up,” Secretary Hobbs said. “It goes to show that Washington voters want to make their voices heard, and that our accessible, all-mail elections provide them with ample opportunities to do so securely.”

The certified results will be used by the two major political parties to allocate delegates for their presidential nomination process.

Certified candidate totals, and breakdowns by county and Congressional district, are available at results.VoteWA.gov.

Each party’s rules required voters to declare a partisan affiliation for their vote to count toward that party’s results, a unique requirement for Washington voters in Presidential Primary elections which drew criticism from many voters.

More than 44,000 voters returned signed ballot envelopes without a party declaration and did not utilize opportunities to make a declaration after county elections offices received their ballots.

For the next 60 days, registered voters’ party declarations will be public, and then will be removed from public records in accordance with WAC 434-219-330.

“Although making a party declaration has been part of Washington’s Presidential Primary for many years, the fact that it only comes up once every four years makes the requirement jarring for some voters,” Hobbs said. “We will continue to work to refine how our Presidential Primary functions.”

Washington has three more elections in 2024: the April 23 Special Election, the August 6 Primary, and the November 5 General Election.

“I encourage all eligible voters to make informed choices and participate in upcoming elections,” Secretary Hobbs said. “Each election is an opportunity to take part in choosing our government.”

Candidate filing week for Washington’s statewide, federal, judicial, and local elections will begin May 6.