SD GOP voters get presidential choiceThought you would get a reprieve from presidential primaries now that that race is decided? Think again.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
Thought you would get a reprieve from presidential primaries now that that race is decided?
Think again. Names such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul will still be on ballots for Republicans in today’s election, even though Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee and all others have ceased active campaigning.
South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant said the names will still appear on the ballot because candidates who drop out have to file months in advance of the election to be removed from the ballot.
So, Republican voters in South Dakota will still select somebody to nominate for president today. Except they won’t actually be voting for an individual presidential candidate.
Votes cast in the GOP presidential primary today are for a group of delegates who support a specific candidate and have pledged to vote for that candidate at the national convention.
The names of the delegates who have pledged to vote for a specific candidate can be found under the name of the candidate on the ballot.
Though delegates have pledged a written oath to the Republican Party to vote for the candidate under whom their name appears, there is no law binding a delegate to that vote at the convention.
Gant said it’s very unlikely a delegate would switch sides.
Along with the four presidential candidates on the ballot, a fifth spot for uncommitted delegates is also available.
These are delegates who preferred not to pledge their votes to a specific candidate.
South Dakota will send 25 delegates to the Republican National Convention, and those delegates will then cast votes for a presidential nominee.
Delegates will be distributed on a proportional basis of the vote, but a candidate must receive at least 20 percent of the vote to send any delegates to the convention.
For example, if candidate A receives 75 percent of the vote and candidate B receives the other 25 percent, candidate A will have 19 South Dakota delegates at the convention and candidate B will get the remaining six.
Some delegates on the ballot may not get to cast a vote at the convention if their candidate does not have enough support. For example, a candidate may have 10 delegates on the ballot but may only receive enough support for five delegates at the convention. The voting delegates are chosen by local party committeemen and women.
Should the group of uncommitted delegates garner at least 20 percent of the vote, those delegates, based on the percentage they receive, would attend the convention and could cast their vote for anyone they wish.
President Obama is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, and his name will not appear on the ballot today.