County mails presidential primary ballots

Voting for Washington’s 2016 Presidential Primary is nearly underway in Clallam County with more than 48,000 ballots scheduled for mailing next week.

Voting for Washington’s 2016 Presidential Primary is nearly underway in Clallam County with more than 48,000 ballots scheduled for mailing next week.

Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters on May 4. Military and overseas voters received their ballots in early April. The state’s Presidential Primary is Tuesday, May 24.

For this election only, voters who choose to participate are required to declare a party affiliation in order to vote. Each ballot packet includes an instruction sheet of seven easy steps for making sure votes cast in the election are counted.

To be included in the Presidential Primary, a political party’s nominees must have received at least 5 percent of the vote cast in the last Presidential Election. According to the Washington Secretary of State’s Office, only the Democratic and Republican parties qualify.

Both party declarations are included on the ballot return envelope and candidates from both parties appear on the consolidated ballot. Voters must mark one party declaration box and can only choose one candidate in their declared party for their ballot to count.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear on the state’s Presidential Primary ballot alongside Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John R. Kasich and Donald J. Trump.

Although Carson publicly suspended his campaign in early March, he remains on the ballot after failing to submit a Withdrawal of Candidacy to the Washington Secretary of State’s Office by the March 18 deadline. State law calls for only candidates to remove themselves from the state’s Presidential Primary.

Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, May 24, or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Ballot drop off options include 24-hour drive-up ballot boxes at the Clallam County Courthouse in Port Angeles and Sequim Village Shopping Center near JCPenney in Sequim, as well as a drop box in the Forks District II Court lobby.

Those not registered to vote in Washington may do so in person at the Auditor’s Office, located in the Clallam County Courthouse, until May 16 to participate in the Presidential Primary.

All Washington households also should have recently received a state Presidential Primary Voters’ Pamphlet in the mail. Voters who did not should contact Clallam County Elections at 417-2221 or

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