Alabama Voters can expect to see a long ballot Tuesday even if there are not a lot of contests in their county. The large number of Republican presidential candidates and the large number of people vying to be their delegates are responsible.
“When you choose who you like for president, our system sets up that you’re really voting for representatives to go to our convention to vote for president,” explained Terry Lathan, Chair of the Alabama Republican Party.
Voters will not only make a selection for president, but may also chose the people who want to be delegates for that candidate.
Both the Republican and Democrat ballots say that one should vote only for delegates associated with his or her presidential selection.
“If you’re going to vote for Clinton, stay with the Clinton delegates. If you’re going to vote fort Sanders, stay with the Sanders delegates,” said Vivian Beckerle, Chair of the Mobile County Democrat Party.
But Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, who oversees the election process, says technically, a voter doesn’t have to.
“They should vote for the delegates associated with that candidate,” said Davis. “But if they vote for some other delegates of some other presidential candidates, whatever they mark on their ballot ifs what’s going to be counted.”
“There is something we have called an honor system that says if you vote for candidate a we would like you to just vote for that candidate’s delegates,” added Lathan. “However, the machines are not set for that. They won’t kick anything out if you do anything differently.”
Anyone can run to be a delegate for a particular candidate, and typically they have to pay their own way to their party’s state or national convention.