Some lawmakers hope to save $10M by canceling primary election

08:44 AM PST on Friday, March 2, 2007
Associated Press
King 5 News

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Some state lawmakers are thinking about canceling next year's presidential primary in Washington to save the $10 million cost of the election.

They say the money would be wasted because Democrats will ignore the results and Republicans haven't decided whether they'll use it.

The primary scheduled for May 27th, 2008, would be the first in Washington in eight years. The Legislature canceled the 2004 presidential primary because its results would have been meaningless.

A similar situation exists today. Democrats will choose their delegates in community caucus meetings. Republicans might use the primary to select some delegates, but they haven't decided how many.

The chairman of the House state government committee, Sam Hunt of Olympia, says lawmakers should consider canceling the primary if it's going to be nothing more than a "beauty contest."

Secretary of State Sam Reed says he'd like the presidential primary to be held to involve more voters in the process. He says 1.3  million voters took part in the 2000 presidential primary, while the party caucus method involves fewer than 60-thousand people.



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