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Washington Secretary of State skipping presidential primary over privacy concerns

Secretary of State Kim Wyman cites privacy concerns for her decision to skip Washington's presidential primary.

OLYMPIA, Wash — Secretary of State Kim Wyman will not properly fill out her ballot for Washington's presidential primary on March 10. 

“I know it’s the right thing to do,” said Wyman, who said she will be using her ballot as a protest vote.

Washington state's primary ballot requires voters to affiliate with a party, and voters can only select a candidate from that party.

Party affiliations can be public record for 60 days after the election.

RELATED: Voters must check 'Democrat' or 'Republican' on Washington Primary ballot

Wyman, a Republican, said since President Donald Trump is the only Republican on the ballot, disclosing her party would disclose who she voted for.

As Secretary of State, Wyman heads up the state’s elections office and said she never publicly reveals who she votes for.

“I don’t weigh in on who I’m going to vote for for president for a reason,” said Wyman, “This is just a principle.”

She backed a bill introduced in the legislature last year to move the state’s presidential primaries from May up to March.

Bill sponsor Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia) said he was “amazed and surprised” to hear Wyman was skipping the election.

“Maybe she doesn’t want to admit she has to vote for Donald Trump,” Hunt said. 

Wyman said it’s not about President Trump.

She said it is her job to protect voter privacy, including her own.

Hunt said for the national political parties to consider the state’s results for the national race, party leadership needs to be certain those votes were cast by party members.

Hunt admitted the system was not perfect, but said it’s better than caucuses used in past years.

He said Wyman should be participating in the election.

“To step aside as the chief elections officer and say 'I'm not going to vote,' I think is inexcusable."

RELATED: After reporting issues in Iowa, could the same happen in the Washington primary?

RELATED: Washington presidential primary ballots were mailed this week