I still haven’t decided. With ballots due in two days for Washington’s presidential primary, I still haven’t decided. Oh, not just about whom to vote for, but whether to vote at all.
I’m guessing many of you are facing the same dilemma. Because in Washington, where our fierce independence is reflected by the fact that we don’t register for one political party or another, the presidential primary demands fealty.
If you wish to vote in the Democratic Party primary, you have to check a box that says, “I declare that my party preference is the Democratic Party and I will not participate in the nomination process of any other political party for the 2020 Presidential election.” On the Republican side, the box says, “I declare that I am a Republican and I have not participated and will not participate in the 2020 precinct caucus or convention system of any other party.”
Obviously, there is a need to ensure that voters do not cast ballots in both parties’ primaries. This isn’t, after all, Chicago — where the mantra long has been, “Vote early, vote often.” But more than a few people are uneasy about having their name and their party preference on the ballot envelope — and then having that preference be a matter of public record for 60 days.
The person you vote for remains a secret. But that can be a bit problematic for Republicans, where Donald Trump is the only candidate on the primary ballot. If you declare that you are a Republican, it means you voted for Trump in the primary or wrote in the name of a longshot. Which I would respect, considering that I wrote in my dad’s name the first time I voted in a presidential election. For the Democratic primary, 13 names appear, although most of those candidates have dropped out of the race since the ballots were printed.