ICYMI: On Primary Ballot, Trump Has Opponents, and 6 Dems Already Dropped Out

BY KATHRYN MCNUTT
Oklahoma Watch
02/27/2020 11:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Voters cast their ballots for the 2018 general election at the McClain County Election Board building in Purcell. Credit: Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Democratic Primary sample ballot with dropped out candidates crossed out. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Republican Primary sample ballot with dropped out candidate crossed out. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that produces in-depth and investigative stories on important issues facing the state. For more Oklahoma Watch content, go to oklahomawatch.org. COURTESY
When they step into the voting booth for Super Tuesday, many Oklahoma voters might be surprised at how many choices they have in the presidential primary election. And how many choices they have that won’t count.

The state’s Democratic ballot lists 14 names. But six of those dropped out of the race after the state’s deadline for getting names removed from the official ballot.

Republican voters can choose from a half dozen men. Only one of those has ended his campaign.

“We have gotten calls from people who did not think there was a Republican primary, but there is, and we have six candidates on the ballot,” said state Election Board spokeswoman Misha Mohr.

Joe Walsh, a radio talk host and former Illinois congressman, ended his presidential campaign Feb. 7. His name appears on the GOP ballot along with President Donald Trump, Illinois entrepreneur Bob Ely and Californians Matthew John Matern, an attorney; Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a real estate developer, and Zoltan Istvan, a journalist and entrepreneur.

Presidential hopefuls who paid $5,000 and filed to run in Oklahoma had until Dec. 6 to remove their names from the ballot. That deadline allowed the Election Board time to lay out, proof and print ballots and deliver them to military and overseas voters 45 days in advance of the election, as required by law, Mohr said.

Eight candidates on the Democratic ballot remain in the race: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Thomas Steyer and Elizabeth Warren.

Democratic voters will also see the names of six former candidates who have suspended their campaigns: Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Deval Patrick, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

Mohr said the order of names on the ballots is rotated so that each name appears an equal number of times in each position. The lineup may be different for two voters standing next to each other in a precinct line.

Only registered Republicans may vote in the Republican primary. Democrats and independents can mark the Democratic ballot.

Registered Libertarians cannot vote in this presidential primary because their party has no candidates. But Libertarians will be able to vote on any local issue on their county’s ballot.

Early voting at county election board offices statewide will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

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