As a minor party, the Green Party is excluded from the publicly funded Presidential Primary in Washington State. Because we did not get more than 5% of the presidential vote in 2016, we must use our own process to determine our Presidential nominee and choose our Presidential Nominating Convention delegates. We do this by a ballot to our membership right after our Spring Convention (which is set for May 23, 2020).
As you may be aware, on the publicly funded WA State primary ballot this year the major parties are making voters take a pledge, written by each party, that they prefer the Democrats or Republicans and will not participate in the nominating process of any other political party.
This is not a legally binding oath. It is not a registration with the party: we have no party registration in this state. The only actual “Democrats” and “Republicans” by state law are Precinct Committee Officers in each party and other Legislative and Statewide officeholders. Everyone else is a “sustainer” or a “supporter.”
These loyalty pledges on the ballot are an attempt to artificially “close” the major party primaries, and to give the major parties access to temporary data to build their voter lists. There is no expectation of enforcement of pledges except (and this is the key part) by the parties themselves.
For practical reasons the Green Party of Washington has decided it will not enforce loyalty pledges on behalf of the Democrats and Republicans in our presidential nominating process. You aren’t registering with the Democrats or the Republicans if you vote in the Democratic or Republican primary (there is no party registration in WA), and we don’t require a loyalty pledge (other than your Green Party membership in good standing) to vote in our Presidential Primary.
We have learned from a County Auditor that major party ballot pledges are kept for two months, where they are subject to public records requests, after which time they are destroyed. This means that all public record of these loyalty pledges will be destroyed before our Green Party nominating convention begins.
In order to vote in the 2020 Green Party Primary in Washington State, your Green Party membership must be current as of April 23, 2020 (for new members) or by May 23, 2020 (for renewing members).
Click here to make sure your Green Party membership is up-to-date!