Presidential elections are such interesting things. So many nuances. The combination of federal, state, and county rules can be confusing. With presidential hopefuls visiting our state, and the Democratic party's caucus next week, I wanted to share some resources I've found that can help give further information if you're interested in learning more about the election process.
For some background information, two books that we have in the collection that may help are: What You Should Know About Politics-- But Don't : a nonpartisan guide to the issues that matter by Jessamyn Conrad and Selecting a President by Eleanor Clift. If you're interested in an historical perspective, try Let The People Rule : Theodore Roosevelt and the birth of the presidential primary by Geoffrey Cowan.
The Washington Post has a great article that walks you through some frequently asked questions about our current Presidential primary, although published in May of last year, it gives a good overview of the hows and whys along the road to selecting presidential candidates.
Closer to home, the Secretary of State for Washington's Elections and Voting website has a breakdown of dates and criteria for participating in the Presidential Primary. I was particularly struck by this: "The political parties retain the authority to decide if they will use the Presidential Primary to allocate delegates to the national nomination conventions. The political parties may also use caucus results, or a combination of primary results and caucus results. The Republican Party will use the Presidential Primary results to allocate 100% of their convention delegates. The Democratic Party will not use the Primary Election results to allocate any of their delegates. They will rely solely on the results of their Precinct Caucuses on March 26th." So while both parties participate in both the caucuses and primary elections, the delegates will be decided by caucuses for the Democrats, and the primary elections by the Republicans.
The League of Women Voters has put together a resource list for voters including links to voting online and where to find out your caucus location if you're interested in participating in the Democratic Party caucuses on March 26th.
Finally, If you'd like to register to vote, the library has forms that you can mail in by April 25th.