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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Still a way to register for Washington presidential primary

 Online registration for the Washington presidential primary ended Monday.

It's by far the easiest way to get on the state's voter rolls. So now that you've missed, are you SOL?

No. There's a backup, but it takes a bit more effort. Until May 16, you can go to your county elections office and sign up in person.

But, you might say, if I'm not registered to vote what's the likelihood that I know where my county elections office is? 

Not very high. So you can check out this map, and it will help you find it. 

Would-be voters who thought earlier there was no hurry because the presidential primary was coming too late in the year to make any difference might be surprised to discover that's not quite accurate. Under some scenarios, the Republican nomination could be locked up in Washington if Donald Trump starts sweeping contests by big margins. Under other scenarios, Ted Cruz and John Kasich could keep  Trump from getting the delegates he needs in Washington and the succeeding primaries. (Note: While Cruz and Kasich have a "deal" about splitting efforts in Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico, they apparently are both going to compete in Washington. So far.) 

Republicans nostalgic for the good old days of the GOP race -- like, before it got whittled down to just three candidates -- can even vote for Ben Carson, who didn't get around to sending an official notification of his withdrawal from the race in time to get his name removed from the ballot. 

The votes of Washington's delegates to the Republican National Convention will be determined by the primary results for the first round of balloting. 

On the Democratic side, the results of the May 24 primary won't be worth much more than bragging rights, and maybe not even that. Washington Democrats are awarding their presidential delegates solely on the basis of the caucus/convention system. But Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be on the primary ballot, for those who want to show support. 

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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