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Washington state cancels presidential primary

Thu., May 12, 2011, 4 p.m.

OLYMPIA — Washington state has canceled its 2012 presidential primary.

Gov. Chris Gregoire approved a bill Thursday to skip the primary after state leaders agreed that it would be better to save the $10 million it costs to manage the vote. Democrats and Republicans in the state typically rely on caucuses, not the primary, to choose candidates and allocate delegates for their national conventions.

Secretary of State Sam Reed prefers the primary system over caucuses because it draws more participation. But the Republican supports suspending the 2012 presidential vote as a one-time way to save money as lawmakers try to deal with a $5 billion shortfall in the coming budget cycle.

The state will still hold its top-two primary in August for other 2012 races.

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