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In Washington, Democrats vote at caucuses March 26; primary on May 24 is key for Republicans

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Secretary of State Kim Wyman has released the final candidate list for Washington’s May 24 presidential primary that includes four Republicans and two Democrats.

Republicans will use the May primary results to allocate their national convention delegates; Democrats will not. The Democrats will use their caucuses next Saturday, March 26, and subsequent conventions/caucuses to allocate national convention delegates.

Wyman noted that since a preliminary list was released Feb. 24, Republicans Marco Rubio and Ben Carson have halted their campaigns. Under state law, only the candidates may remove themselves from the May 24 primary. Rubio signed such a withdrawal on Friday, but Carson did not respond to numerous contacts from the State Elections Division, Wyman said.

That leaves Washington’s ballot with Republicans Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Donald Trump. Democrats are Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

April 25 is the last day to register by mail or online, or to update one’s address or name ahead of the Presidential Primary. Those not currently registered in Washington may register in person at the county elections offices until May 16.

According to Wyman, unlike all other Washington elections, presidential primary voters are required by law to declare a party for the primary they’re voting in. The declarations, written by the Democratic and Republican parties, are located on the return envelope. Without a signature and checking the appropriate party box, the vote will not be counted.

Voters will receive a unified ballot with both party primary lists, but voters can only choose a candidate within the party they declared. The parties will receive a list of voters who chose their ballot.