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How do candidates get on Washington's ballot?

Each major political party decides which candidates are printed on their side of the ballot. On January 9, each major party submits its final list of names to the Secretary of State’s Office. Once the party's list of candidates is submitted, changes cannot be made (RCW 29A.56.031). For more information about each party's internal rules for getting on the list, please contact the WA State Democratic Party at 206-583-0664, or the WA State Republican Party at 425-460-0570.

The order of political parties and candidates is determined by the number of votes cast for U.S. President at the last presidential election. The major political party that received the highest number of votes from the electors of this state for the office of president at the last presidential election must appear first. In 2020, the Democratic Party received the highest number of votes and must appear first in 2024. Candidates are placed on the ballot in alphabetical order within each party. Candidates on the list will appear in the same order in the printed Voters' Pamphlet.

Minor and independent candidates do not participate in the Presidential Primary and must comply with a different convention process.

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1. How do candidates get on Washington's ballot?
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