All Politics is Local

Vote late — if you want your ballot to matter

Vote early and vote often.

That saying, attributed to former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, mobster Al Capone and a host of others, has never been sound advice, unless facing felony voter fraud charges is on your bucket list.

For Tuesday’s presidential primary, “vote early” was particularly lousy advice for Washington Democrats as a once-crowded field of presidential candidates has been pared to the “Bernie or Joe” show during the past week.

Today, Democrats can choose between two white guys in their late 70s: Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign was on life support prior to his big win in the South Carolina primary; and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the self-described Democratic Socialist who once was the front-runner but suddenly finds himself trailing Biden in total delegates.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, technically is still running, despite having earned just two delegates. Biden has more than 600 delegates, with Sanders not far behind.

Fifteen Democrats were listed on Washington’s presidential ballot, including seven who had dropped out by Feb. 28, when ballots starting arriving in county mailboxes.

Since then, the field has been winnowed further as Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren all tapped out, with Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Bloomberg throwing their support to Biden’s surging campaign.

Clark County elections received 46,625 ballots prior to Biden turning his sluggish campaign around in South Carolina. No one knows how many of the votes went to President Donald Trump, the only Republican on the ballot, or to one of the five Democrats who dropped out after the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary or the Super Tuesday primaries three days later.

That said, hundreds, if not thousands, of county Democrats might have voted for someone who is no longer running for president.

Those voters might want to remember to “Just wait and vote late” in 2024.