democratic voters in Chicago will find dozens of name on their ballot as soon as they poll in the march 17 Illinois primary. mar Hall/WBEZ hide caption


There are just a couple of Democratic presidential candidates left in the race, however blue voter in Illinois are still going to view dozens of surname on your ballots march 17.

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There space 13 world still noted as running for president. Yet there is likewise another lengthy list: all the Illinoisans to run to it is in delegates to the party"s national convention.

To prevent the ballot turning into a medieval scroll, the Chicago board of Elections hired a graphic designer to fit all the delegate names required on every ballot, which relying on where friend live, can exceed 40.

"We"ve never had a collection of delegate contests this huge," claimed Jim Allen, spokesman because that the Chicago plank of Elections.

The winnowing field of presidential candidates could help voters sort much more quickly v the delegates section, however here"s what you have to know around picking who have to represent you in the party"s official candidate nominating process.

What is a delegate?

A delegate is a human being who attends the democratic or Republican nationwide Convention and votes for a candidate to end up being the party"s official nominee.


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If you"re a Republican in Illinois, you deserve to vote for 3 delegates and three alternates, no matter where friend live. If you"re a Democrat, it"s a lot much more complicated.

Illinois has actually 184 delegates and voters get to directly pick 101 of them. Since the ar of candidates is — er, to be — therefore large, voters who pull democratic ballots may see more than 40 options for delegate, relying on where lock live.

All delegates room pledged to a candidate, and also the ballot will suggest the candidate"s name in parentheses.

"It"s a level of democracy that I think is extremely important," said chef County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. "You"re voting because that your next-door neighbors to display up and also support and carry out the ideas that that particular candidate ran on."

Johnson is running as a delegate in the first congressional district where he lives. ~ above the ballot, he"s pledged to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but because she reduce out, he has endorsed vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

What perform I carry out if I desire to assistance a delegate pledged come a candidate who dropped out?

In order for a human being who"s to run to it is in a delegate to actually become a delegate, their candidate must get at least 15% that the state"s famous vote. Unless Warren secures those votes, Johnson won"t be a delegate this year.

"The delegates for candidates who have actually dropped out really have very tiny chance of becoming delegates come the convention," stated Mary Morrissey, executive director the the Illinois democratic Party.

Ald. Matt Martin,47th Ward, is also on the ballot together a delegate for Warren, but now the she"s out of the race, he"s likewise endorsed Sanders. Prefer Johnson, it"s not likely he"ll be a delegate in ~ the national convention in Milwaukee in July.

Martin claimed he"ll support the world running for delegate in his area that were currently pledged to Sanders.

I"m undecided. Have the right to I split up my delegate votes?

The short answer: "Yeah, you could," Morrissey said,

Chicago voters that lived through the last mayoral election room no stranger to having actually a lot of of alternatives and finding it challenging to choose. So divvying increase delegate votes might be a good option.

Morrissey gave an example of how delegates could be divided in the first Congressional ar on Chicago"s West Side whereby voters can select up come eight delegates.

"Let"s to speak they separation 50/50, every of them will certainly get 4 delegates," Morrissey explained.

But, the splitting of delegates will only come right into play if over there is a brokered convention, in which no candidate has actually earned a majority of delegates before the convention to be the clean nominee. A democratic candidate demands 1,991 delegates come secure the nomination.

"You could trust the judgment of a certain (person) because they"ve made policy decisions that align v your values," Morrissey said. "You have the right to vote for the individual, discovering that if the becomes, say, a brokered convention, the they will an ext than likely represent your views at the convention."

What around the delegates winner in various other states through candidates that have now to reduce out?

Because Illinois isn"t one of the first states to vote in the primary, the is i can not qualify that any kind of candidate who dropped the end would get over the 15% threshold required to put their delegates in play.

But in various other states, there space a variety of delegates pledged come candidates that dropped the end that voter picked to go to the convention. Lock are currently basically complimentary agents.

"There"s no means for Buttigieg (former southern Bend, Ind. Market Pete Buttigieg) come compel those delegates to assistance Biden (former Vice chairman Joe Biden)," Morrissey said.

In other words, while many of the candidates who have dropped out have actually endorsed Biden, their delegates space not compelled to vote for him in ~ the convention.

However, background tells us those uncommitted delegates will ultimately pick the leading candidate by the time the convention roll around.

"Functionally, every the delegates space going to litter their support behind the one remaining candidate," young name said.

How numerous delegates have the right to I vote for?

The directions will certainly say how countless you can choose, so salary attention.

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"Avoid over voting," claimed Jim Allen, with the Chicago board of Elections. "If it says "vote for as much as five" or "vote for approximately seven," girlfriend don"t desire to choose eight and have all of your selections no counted."

The touch screen voting equipments won"t enable you to make an ext selections than your ballot allows. And if you"re poll by mail and also haven"t yet sent out in your ballot, you deserve to still make changes, also if girlfriend already significant it up.

"As lengthy as we have the right to determine the voters" intent, castle can also scribble in a note like, "This one, yes. No to that one."" Allen said. "As long as you clearly mark the intent, and also you overcome out any type of mistakes, we"re going to be able to determine what you meant to do."