No more caucuses? State lawmakers consider change ahead of 2016 elections

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington lawmakers are considering a change to the state’s presidential primary system ahead of the 2016 elections.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman described in a Tuesday morning news conference her proposal to require the Republican and Democratic parties to bind their delegate allocations to the results of the state primary. Currently, Washington’s primary is a straw poll paid for with public money and fixed in May, and both parties are free to decide in caucuses which candidates will receive delegates.

If the change goes through, Washington’s primary would be set for March 8, 2016. Each party would be required to award some delegates to the winner of its voters’ primary. If both major parties don’t sign off on the plan, all candidates would go onto one ballot.

Bills are pending in the state House and Senate on the plan, which goes before a Senate committee Thursday.

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