PRESS RELEASE: SEATTLE -- With 38% of Washington voters participating and approximately 1.7 million ballots total (of which nearly 1.1 million were cast for Democratic candidates) already turned in as of election night, turnout for Washington's first Democratic presidential primary to determine the allocation of the state's delegates to the Democratic National Convention shattered records for participation in the nomination process. By comparison, the Democratic caucus in 2016 drew approximately 230,000 voters.
"We're thrilled that so many more people from across our state were able to make their voice heard in our nomination process this year," said Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski. "478% more people voting than last cycle shows the energy to defeat Donald Trump and his enablers here in Washington State is undeniable."
As is usual in Washington State's elections, it will take county auditors and the Secretary of State's office at least several days to count every vote, so the Washington State Democratic Party will refrain from announcing delegate allocation numbers until the Secretary of State's office certifies the election results. By law, that process must be completed no later than March 27, at which point the Party will officially announce the number of delegates won by each campaign as soon as possible.
Turnout in the primary appears largely unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak due to Washington's all mail-in voting system, thanks to reforms spearheaded by Democratic majorities in the state legislature passing sweeping reforms to remove barriers to voting after retaking the state senate in 2017. Following the first referendum on the Trump administration in Washington, the victory of state Senator Manka Dhingra in 2017 flipped that chamber and allowed the passage of postage-paid ballots, same day and automatic voter registration, pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, the Washington State Voting Rights Act, and the Native Voting Rights Act.