Legislature OKs moving presidential primary to March

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Legislature has passed a measure that would move the state’s presidential primary from May to March.

The bill, which passed the Senate in January, cleared the House on a 54-42 vote Monday. It now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

The measure moves the primary to the second Tuesday in March, and each party, instead of the secretary of state, would determine which names are placed on the ballot representing the parties.

Washington has no party registration, but the primary requires voters to attest to being either Republican or Democrat. That gives the state parties important information for their voter lists. Residents’ party choices are public record, while their votes remain private.

Under the measure that passed Monday, voters must continue to declare a party affiliation when voting in the presidential primary.