2020 Presidential Primary Candidate Information

Voters' Pamphlet Guidelines:

December 5. Submit your candidate profile now for the Voters' Pamphlet. All profiles are confidential until published at the same time.

January 7. Deadline for political party chairs to submit final list of candidates to the Washington Secretary of State's Office. Legislation passed in 2019 changed the process for how major party candidates appear on the Presidential Party ballot. If the final list we receive from the state party chair includes your name for appearance on the ballot, we'll publish your profile in the Voters' Pamphlet.

January 25. Military and overseas Voters' Pamphlets and ballots mailed out. 

February 12 thru 21. Voters' Pamphlets drop to residences and PO Boxes. Ballots are mailed and voting centers open February 21.

March 10. Presidential Primary 

  • Ballot boxes and voting centers close at 8 p.m. 
  • Mailed ballots must have a valid signature. 
Minor party and independent candidates do not participate in the Presidential Primary and must comply with the convention process.

Major Party Presidential Candidates: Washington produces an online guide and mails a printed pamphlet to every residence. For an example, see the 2016 publication.

Submit your profile to [email protected].

  • Photograph
  • Biography (100 words or less) 
  • Statement (300 words or less)
  • Campaign contact information
Please submit one self-portrait of your head and shoulders.
A color photo is required. For best results, use a light-colored background, but not white. Photos must be no more than five years old.
Must be high resolution and no smaller than 2.5"x3". It may not be digitally altered. 
Clothing or insignia that suggest holding a public office are banned (e.g. judicial robes, law enforcement or military uniforms).  
Provide a 100-word total biography. You must use the following headings, which do not count toward the word limit: 
  1. Elected Experience:
  2. Other Professional Experience:
  3. Education:
  4. Community Service:
"No information submitted" will follow any blank heading.
State law sets the maximum word limit to 300 words and no more than 6 paragraphs. Hyphenated words count as two words. Statements exceeding the word limit will be shortened by deleting full sentences from the end. Use only italics to emphasize words or phrases. Bold, underline, and all caps are not allowed. Tables, lists, and bullets are not allowed. Text must be written in paragraphs.
Proofread carefully. Your statement and biography will be printed exactly as submitted. Changes are not allowed unless requested by the Office of the Secretary of State or required by court order. The statement you submit will be displayed online and printed in the Voters’ Pamphlet.
Naming people, such as an opponent or endorsement, delays processing and could result in court-ordered changes to your statement. Obscene, profane, libelous, and defamatory language will be rejected.
  • Treat this as a resume and edit carefully.
  • Offer your vision. Be positive.
  • What do you want to accomplish, if elected?
  • Describe what sets you apart from your opponent.
  • Avoid criticism of your opponent.
  • Who endorses your candidacy?
  • Avoid technical terms and abbreviations.
The following campaign contact information will be published with your statement. Contact information does not count toward the word limits, but long web addresses such as Facebook or blogs are not allowed. You may update your contact information at any time.
  • Campaign phone number
  • Campaign email
  • Campaign website
Your campaign finance information is public information. A link to your campaign finance information will appear on your page in the online voters' guide. Candidates must report campaign finance information to the Federal Election Commission at www.fec.gov
Qualified nominees will have an opportunity to submit new profiles for their party ticket. All presidential candidates must be nominated by a convention process. Major political parties will submit their nominees through their national conventions.

Download a pdf of the guidelines