How primary votes are counted


Illinois’ primary is Tuesday. There are quite a few presidential candidates to choose from, but who are you really voting for when you head to the polls? The answer isn’t so simple.

“The other races are really mini-elections inside the 18-different congressional districts.”

The race for delegates isn’t as simple as dividing them up in Illinois. Voters in the 18 congressional districts vote for three delegates individually, not just by candidate.

“Former Governor Jim Edgar is on the ballot as a Bush delegate. Again, Mr. Bush, just like Senator Paul, has dropped out of the race, but people may see Jim Edgar and say, ‘I’d like to vote for him’ and he could very well get elected as a delegate, even if his preferred candidate isn’t running.”

If a delegate like Edgar were to win, it’s not clear if he’d have to vote for Bush, who dropped out, or someone else.

“Illinois has no rule either way.”

For Democrats, in addition to 156 regular delegates, Illinois has 26 super-delegates who can vote for anyone they wish. 21 have confirmed for Clinton. Super delegates were added to give the party more control.

“We’re not electing somebody to office. We’re electing someone to the party’s nomination. They don’t want their nomination to be hijacked.”

Something which could be said about the Trump campaign this year, but not everyone thinks it’s all bad.

“If you look at the turnout we’ve had at caucuses and primaries throughout the country, I think it’s great to be brining new voters into the Republican Party.”

Because there are still four candidates in the race, we could get to the convention with no candidate having the 1,237 delegates needed to win on the first ballot.

If that happens, all the delegates could be free to choose another candidate than the one they came for. It hasn’t happened in the GOP for more than 60-years.

Gordy Hulten, the Champaign County clerk, joins us.


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