OLYMPIA — Former Vice President Joe Biden was declared winner over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Washington’s vote-by-mail Democratic presidential primary as additional results were counted.
Biden led Monday statewide by more than 22,000 votes after more than 2 million votes were counted. Of the state’s 89 pledged delegates, only 31 are allocated based on the statewide result. The remaining 58 are determined based on the results of the state’s 10 congressional districts, and those results might not be calculated until the election is certified by the secretary of state’s office, which could be as late as March 27.
Nationally, Biden has won 887 delegates to Sanders’ 731 in a race in which 1,991 delegates are needed to win the nomination for president.
In Clallam County, Biden had 7,124 votes, or 38.8 percent, compared to Sanders’ 5,486 votes, or 29.88 percent, after Friday’s tally of ballots from the Tuesday presidential primary. The next count will be Thursday.
In Jefferson County, Sanders led by 76 votes with 4,983 votes, or 37.14 percent after Monday’s count. Biden had 4,907 votes, or 36.58 percent.
The Washington ballot had 13 candidates on it, along with an “uncommitted” option. All but three had dropped out by Tuesday’s primary ballot count. Tulsi Gabbard won less than 1 percent of the state vote. More than 384,000 Democrats voted for candidates other than Biden or Sanders.
President Donald Trump, the only Republican on the ballot, garnered more than 98 percent of the vote both statewide and in Clallam and Jefferson counties. Trump received more than 645,000 votes, and more than 10,000 Republicans wrote in an alternate candidate, 170 in Clallam County and 60 in Jefferson County.
Voter turnout in Clallam County was 56.14 percent, with 30,529 ballots of the 54,376 provided registered voters returned.
In Jefferson County, turnout was 68 percent, with 17,841 ballots of the 26,289 provided registered voters returned.
The statewide voter turnout Monday, with more than 28,000 ballots left to count — with most in King County — was 48.41 percent.
The state requires that all voters who sent in ballots with party affiliations or signatures absent, or other problems, will receive letters from the auditors’ offices encouraging them to “cure” their ballots by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the day before the election is certified.
Democrats are using the vote-by-mail presidential primary — moved up this year from May — for the first time to allocate delegates instead of the smaller caucuses used in previous years.