Everything you need to know to participate in the WA State Presidential Primary

The Washington State Presidential Primary takes place Tuesday, May 24th. Being a mail-in ballot state, ballots will be mailed to all registered voters on May 6th. Here’s what you need to know to participate in the primary.

Validate your voter registration

April 25th was the deadline for updating your voter registration for the primary. You can still register to vote in person until May 16th.

Now is a great time to make sure your address is correct for the general election in November. The deadline to update your address online or by mail is October 10th. You can do so in person until October 31st.

If you aren’t registered to vote, you can fix that right here.

You must pick a party

Washington State does not require voters to register with a party and any voter can vote for any presidential candidate in the primary. On your ballot, however, you will be required to affirm that you are only backing one and only one party, either the Democrats or the Republicans, for the primary.

This means that if you participated in the Democratic caucus, you can only vote for a Democratic candidate in the primary. If you did not participate in the Democratic caucus, you can vote for any candidate from either party in the primary.

Voting for a Republican candidate

With Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropping out of the race, and Donald Trump seen as the de facto GOP nominee, you may be wondering why you should vote at all. And the answer is important: you should always vote. The truth of the matter is that the Republican nominee is chosen at the convention and there is still the possibility of a contested convention. Moreover, you should vote for your voice, as part of Washington state Republicans, to be heard.

If you want to vote for one of the Republican candidates, and did not participate in the Democratic caucus, you will need to:

  1. Mark your ballot for one of the four candidates:
  2. Select the Republican Party box on the outside of your ballot
  3. Sign your ballot, put a stamp on it, and mail it.

Ballots must be postmarked by May 24th.

Voting for a Democratic candidate

Washington State Democrats used their caucus on March 26th to select their candidate and will not be using the results of the primary to allocate any of their delegates. Said another way: if you did not participate in the caucus you have missed your chance to vote for one of the Democratic candidates prior to the general election.

But you should still vote.

Too many times people have used misinformation to disenfranchise others of their right to vote. Despite believing my information to be correct and linking to the Washington Secretary of State website, you should always question when someone is telling you not to vote. Always vote. Always.

If you want to vote for one of the Democratic candidates you will need to:

  1. Mark your ballot for one of the two candidates:
  2. Select the Democrat Party box on the outside of your ballot
  3. Sign your ballot, put a stamp on it, and mail it.

Ballots must be postmarked by May 24th.

Other Resources

You should have received a copy of the Washington State Voter’s Pamphlet in the mail already. If you haven’t, you can access a PDF of it online or find a copy at your local library.

The Washington Secretary of State’s website has additional FAQs as well.


Regardless of who you vote for, I strongly encourage you to vote. The next president of the United States will shape the country over the next four years and you have a say in who that will be even as early as the state primary.

Introducing the “new” DP logo

Distributed Proofreaders has been around since 2000, well before the advent of modern image formats like SVG vector images and PNG raster images. The DP logo, therefore, was a GIF available in only the size needed for the website:

Fast forward 15 years and our logo is still 360×68 pixels with no hope of being used at any larger size, in any of the instances where a square image is needed (like Twitter), and no chance of being used in print. Over the years folks have filled the void by creating new raster images, some of a great quality, but never anything that was considered official and never in a vector format from which we could generate raster images of various sizes.

In modern logo development you design it in a vector format, such at SVG, and then rasterize it to whatever size you need for the web. In addition to a logo you need what’s commonly called a mark or badge, essentially a square design that readily brings your brand to mind when seen. Marks are often used to link back to your website.

Most large companies go one step further and include much more detail about their brand, including specifying colors, fonts, spacing, when to use which image, and much more. Some branding guidelines from companies you’ve probably heard of:

About two weeks ago I decided DP needed some modern branding assets. Loading up my trusty copy of Inkscape and all of the current images available to me, I created a “new” DP logo in SVG format we could use to create official brand logos. I also created a DP mark in SVG format. Today, we rolled them out.

Introducing the “new” DP logo and mark:

DP logo

DP mark

Included in the roll-out is a full branding page providing access to the SVG files as well as PNGs with both white and transparent backgrounds in various sizes. The nice thing about transparent PNGs is that because they have an alpha channel, we only need one PNG to use for all our different themes rather than one GIF per background color.

To round out the set, the branding page even includes a black and white logo without a drop-shadow for use in black and white print applications.

DP logo in black and white

Making these was a fun foray back to my design and publishing days. Turns out no one knows what font the original logo is in. It’s likely some variant of Garamond, but none that I could find. Luckily I was able to find Amiri, a free font from Google Fonts that was a pretty close match. That worked for everything except the ‘dp’ in the center of the logo and the core of the mark. Those bits of the logo are very visually striking and the letter shapes in Amiri were too different from the original to use. Fortunately Linda, the general manager, had already done some work in Corel to vectorize those bits into an image for use on Twitter. After combining the two together (and converting the final text to paths for better compatibility) it was a simple matter of adding the drop shadow and exporting some PNGs.

The “new” logo isn’t exactly like the old one, but it’s pretty close and hopefully conveys the most important visual aspects of the original. And now they’re available in easily-consumable formats for virtually any media.