A couple weeks ago, seemingly a lifetime in the age of COVID-19, I wrote a column about Washington’s presidential primary.
The point was that Washington’s primary requires voters to mark a box on the outside of the ballot envelope declaring allegiance to either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, and many people have a problem with this. Because of the requirement, I wasn’t sure how I was going to vote or whether to vote at all.
Judging from the response to the column, this issue resonates with readers. In this state, as you know, we are not required to register as a Republican or a Democrat or an independent or a druid, if we would be so inclined, so marking a box declaring a party preference is a bit of anathema to us.
“Dead-on echo of my own thoughts and sentiments,” one reader wrote. “Thank you for addressing this whole irritatingly messy business.”
Another complained about the political parties controlling the presidential primary and requiring the declaration as a method for suppressing the vote. “So be ‘fiercely independent,’ ” they wrote. “Check the box and VOTE.” Which, of course, is never a bad idea.