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Democracy

Decision 2024: Democracy In Action

Tools to help you navigate the political landscape and take an active role in shaping the future.

The commencement of the 2024 election season is marked by the initiation of voting in Iowa on January 15. This period encompasses the presidential primaries and caucuses across the country, extending until June.

A narrow majority of Latinos in the U.S. are eligible to vote, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. A little over half of all Latinos (53%) were eligible to vote in 2022.

Knowing the voting requirements before heading to the polls is essential, as the rules can be complex. Are you eligible to vote in the primary? Is pre-registration necessary? What kind of identification, if any, is needed? We at Washington Latino News (WALN) want to help you find the answers to these questions..

In the eight counties with the highest number of Latino voters, InvestigateWest’s data analysis concluded back in 2021 that voters with Hispanic-sounding names were four times more likely to have their votes discarded than other voters, reports The Chronicle.

After releasing that report, UCLA’s Voting Rights Project took legal action against three counties in central Washington – Benton, Yakima, and Chelan – which exhibited significant disparities, accusing them of racial discrimination. Following a lengthy legal battle, the counties have reached a settlement agreement. As per the terms of the agreement, the counties are obligated to conduct semiannual signature verification training for their election staff and volunteers, along with providing cultural competency training.

Additionally, the ballot materials will now include instructions in Spanish on the ballot’s security sleeve, explaining the signature verification process clearly and guiding voters on how to rectify their ballot if their signature gets rejected.

In Washington, the primary is scheduled for March 12, 2024. If you are already registered to vote in Washington, there is no need to request a ballot separately. 


Important Dates:


It is important to note that the primary election has unique conditions and differs from regular elections. Participants in the nomination process will be required to mark and sign party declarations on their ballot return envelopes. State laws dictate the process of setting the date, candidate eligibility for the ballot, and how parties utilize the primary results.

While most states utilize primaries to choose their presidential nominees, nine states, including Iowa, continue to opt for caucuses as their selection method. Unlike traditional primaries, where voters privately cast their ballots, caucuses involve them gathering together to express their preferences openly.

For the upcoming election, the Democratic and Republican parties will hold caucuses in Iowa, Idaho, and Wyoming. However, only the Republican party will conduct caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah.

Registration deadlines and requirements differ across states. In 42 states and the District of Columbia, online registration is available. Additionally, in 22 states and D.C., you can register and vote on the same day. If you choose this route, it is vital to have proof of your residence ready, such as a driver’s license or ID card. Some states may accept documents like paychecks or utility bills with your address as proof of residency. In certain states, same-day registrants may need to sign an affidavit or take an oath attesting to their eligibility and confirming that they still need to vote.

Under the “motor voter” law, states must allow individuals to register at motor vehicle offices. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, approximately one-third of all voter registration applications are submitted through motor vehicle offices annually.

The 2024 Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held July 15 to 18, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After hosting the Democratic National Convention in 1996, the event will return to Chicago, Illinois on August 19-22, 2024, at the United Center.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

Resources:

Washington Secretary of State: https://www.sos.wa.gov/

How to Register to Vote:

Presidential Primary FAQ: https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/voters/helpful-information/presidential-primary-faq


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