To Party Or Not To Party
I moved from Wisconsin to Illinois a year ago knowing party politics ran deep, especially in Cook County. Even so, I wasnt prepared for what happened when I went to my polling place in March to vote in the primaries:
POLL WORKER: Which ballot would you like?
ME: Uhh the one that I vote on?
This wasnt the norm for me, but after doing some digging, it turns out primary systems can vary widely from state to state.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, primary election systems across the United States shake out like this:
How Do You Choose
When you show up to your polling location, youll decide whether you want a Democratic or Republican primary ballot.
But after choosing a side in the primary, you have to stay in that lane through the runoff. You cant vote Republican in the primary election and then participate in a runoff election between top Democratic candidates.
That said, voting in a primary does not commit you to vote for a particular candidate in the general election. You can vote for either partys candidate in the November election.
When Do I Vote In 2022
Registered voters can vote at the polls during the early voting period from Feb. 14 to Feb. 25, or vote at the polls on Primary Election Day on March 1 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Some voters may be eligible to vote by mail.
for a list of early voting locations in Bexar County.
In addition to the March Primary date, there will be a runoff election on May 24. The General Election is Nov. 8.
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The Role Of Political Parties In An Election
Political parties are key players in the political space. In a country like America, we cannot discuss political interests without looking at the importance of the various political parties on the playing field.
The existence of political parties flows out of the need for a democratic system of electing our leaders. Political parties have their internal systems that bring people of the same political ideology together. It is on the platform of these political parties that candidates stand to run for an election. It gives the members of the political parties the ability to participate in the processes that leads to who becomes their leader and directly determines the leader.
A political party is primarily responsible for mobilizing the citizens of a country to be a part of the decision-making process in the country. They organize political meetings and conferences that enlighten the voters and also boost their interest in political activities. They also take part in several activities that target securing political power.
Political parties also assist in the development of policies in the country. They also communicate these policies to the voters during campaigns.
Political parties present candidates for elections. Thus, they secure the persons to occupy political positions, train them and actively promote their candidate to voters via massive campaigns and public events.
Iowa Keeps Getting Messier: 5 Takeaways From The Caucuses Near
How does voting work?
Its a primary, so voters head to the polls like they would in a general election. Its semi-open, meaning independents can participate. About 40% of the state are independents, and given that there is no competitive GOP primary happening, one might expect to see a higher percentage of independents turn out on the Democratic side than in 2016.
In 2016, independents made up 40% of the electorate, according to the exit polls, but there were competitive primaries on both sides. In 2008, it was 44%, but in 2004 the last time there was a competitive Democratic primary with an incumbent Republican president up for reelection 48% of the electorate was independents.
Dont confuse independents with moderates, though. Sanders, who won the 2016 primary by more than 20 points, won three-quarters of independents. He won a slightly lower percentage of self-described moderates, 59%.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, takes photos with supporters during a campaign event at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester, N.H., on Monday. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/APhide caption
Former Vice President Joe Biden, takes photos with supporters during a campaign event at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester, N.H., on Monday.
Aside from independents, which other voters are important to watch?
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg arrives onstage at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club on Monday in Milford, N.H.hide caption
The Louisiana Primary System
The Louisiana system, sometimes called the “Cajun Primary,” eliminates the primary election altogether. Instead, all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, run on the same ballot in November. If a candidate receives more than half of the votes, that candidate is elected. If no candidate wins with a majority, the top two vote-getters face off in a December runoff election. Qualified absentee voters receive a ballot for the November election and a ranked ballot for the December runoff, so that they can vote as normal in the general election and then have their ranked ballot count for whichever runoff candidate they ranked highest in the runoff election.
Although Louisiana law refers to the election in November as the “primary” and the December runoff as the “general” election, the November election takes place on the federally mandated Election Day and most candidates win office by receiving a majority vote in that election, so it is best understood as a general election, with the December election as a contingent runoff.
The Louisiana system is sometimes mistakenly equated with the Top Two system, but holding the first election in November and electing any candidate with more than 50% of the vote in that election makes it sufficiently distinct that it should not be understood as a mere variant of Top Two.
What Is A Voter
The Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, which took effect January 1, 2011, created “voter-nominated” offices. The Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act does not apply to candidates running for U.S. President, county central committees, or local offices.
Most of the offices that were previously known as “partisan” are now known as “voter-nominated” offices. Voter-nominated offices are state constitutional offices, state legislative offices, and U.S. congressional offices. The only “partisan offices” now are the offices of U.S. President and county central committee.
Is It Common For Democrats To Participate In The Republican Primary And Vice Versa
In short, no. According to Elizabeth Simas, a political science professor at the University of Houston who spoke about this with Texas Standard, cases of strategic voting dont happen much in primary elections. Certainly, there are people who do it but we just dont see it happening as much as theres potentially this fear for it to happen, Simas said.
In areas dominated by one party, especially rural areas, voters might cross party lines in the primary to have more of a say in their local races.
In my county, all the local races are Republican. Judges, sheriff, district attorney, Martha Mims, a Democratic voter who lives Williamson County, wrote in The Texas Tribunes Facebook group, This is Your Texas. If I want to have a say in local government, I have to vote in the Republican primary.
Voters like Mims can do that, thanks to Texas open primary. Do you have more questions about voting in Texas? Submit them to our Texplainer series.
Disclosure: The University of Houston has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Why New Hampshires Independents Are So Tough To Pin Down
Every four years, the anticipation grows around how New Hampshires independent voters might vote come primary day. New Hampshire votes the week after the Iowa caucuses, making its primary a critical test for candidates.
Out of the more than 977,000 registered voters in the Granite State, about 413,500 are undeclared to either party, compared to the states 275,252 registered Democrats and 288,524 registered Republicans. Undeclared voters can choose either ballot in a primary and switch their party back to undeclared with their local election officials after theyve voted.
There hasnt been a sudden surge in Republican or Democratic registered voters switching over to undeclared, New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan told me. But because New Hampshire also allows same-day registration, Scanlan said hes expecting to see thousands of new voters at the polls on Election Day.
Most registrations take place on Election Day, he said. It will be in the tens of thousands. We wont know until Election Day.
The data we have on this group shows undeclared voters are certainly not a monolith, and they dont vote as a bloc. Polling data collected from 1999 to 2014 by Smith and former UNH political science professor and pollster David Moore showed that about 40 percent of undeclared voters consistently voted Republican and 45 percent Democratic. That left just 15 percent who could truly be considered independents, voting for candidates of both parties.
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Can A Registered Democrat Vote For A Republican In The Primary Election In Illinois
Illinois is a semi-open primary state which means you must votein your registered party, but the state also allows a voter tochange party affiliation on election day. Additionally, any time apublic question is submitted to the voters in a primary, thequestion will appear on the party primary ballots however, you mayvote the public question without declaring a party affiliation byrequesting a non-partisan ballot containing the question only.
Can I Vote In The Primaries
Choosing the person who could be chosen to leadPrimaries are an important part of the democratic process, but certain states have laws around who is eligible to vote in them, often around voters registered political parties.
What are the primaries?
Primaries are elections that allow political parties to determine the candidate who will go on to represent them in later elections.
These can happen at any level, but get the most attention in the two years ahead of a Presidential election, when voters determine which candidates will represent the Democratic and Republican parties in the main election in November.
Open vs. Closed Primaries
Open Primaries allow any registered voter to pick the candidate that will represent their party as the nominee in the upcoming election.
Closed Primaries require that the voter only pick the candidate from the voters registered party. For example, a voter registered as a Republican could only pick their choice for the Republican nominee.
Some states allow voters registered as independents to align themselves with a party on the day of the Primary Election so they may vote for a party candidate of their choosing.
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One Of Several Bills Retained By House Election Law Committee For More Work Would Implement Provisional Ballots For Those Without Proof Of Domicile
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One of several bills retained by House Election Law Committee for more work would implement provisional ballots for those without proof of domicile
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VOTING BILLS RETAINED. A group of bills whose Republican supporters say are aimed at ensuring that only Granite State residents are eligible to vote in the state were pulled back and retained Wednesday by the GOP majority on the influential House Election Law Committee.
The committee will ostensibly work on the bills in the coming months, make changes and consider them again either later this year or early in 2022. At that point they would then go to the full House for votes.
The Democratic committee minority voted against retaining the bills, preferring to kill them outright, calling the GOP push an effort to disenfranchise and depress college students turnout at elections. But the GOP majority prevailed in a series of 11-9 party line votes, keeping the bills alive.
Among the retained bills was a measure proposed by state Rep. Robert Lynn, a retired state Supreme Court chief justice, to implement provisional ballots in New Hampshire.
Under current law, voters who are unable to show required identification when registering or voting must fill out an affidavit swearing that they are qualified and have 30 days to provide proof that they are domiciled where they say they are.
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A Look At The Democratic Party And The Republican Party
The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the major political parties in America. They are based on different philosophies and thus hold different views on public policies. To understand their operations, we need to understand the standpoints of each of these parties.
The ideology of the Democratic Party centers on modern liberalism. It believes in the promotion of economic as well as social equality. Thus, it tilts toward increasing the rate of the involvement of the government in economic affairs.
The Republican Party, on the other hand, is a political party that centers on the principles of conservatism. It believes in securing individual rights, giving the people more power to determine their affairs. Thus, it considers that the efforts of the government should protect the welfare of individuals.
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What Do Party Preferences Mean When Listed With Candidates’ Names On The Ballot What Are The Qualified Political Parties And Abbreviations Of Those Party Names
The term “party preference” is now used in place of the term “party affiliation.” A candidate must indicate his or her preference or lack of preference for a qualified political party. If the candidate has a qualified political party preference that qualified political party will be indicated by the candidate’s name on the ballot. If a candidate does not have a qualified political party preference, “Party Preference: None” will be indicated by the candidate’s name on the ballot.
Similarly, voters who were previously known as “decline-to-state” voters are now known as having “no party preference” or known as “NPP” voters.
Abbreviations for the qualified political parties are:
- DEM = Democratic Party
Confused About November Heres The Deal
In the general election on Nov. 6, all voters will see the same candidates listed for statewide offices the politicians from all parties who advanced from the primary election, as well as any third party candidates who’ve filed after the primaries. You can vote for whomever youd like, regardless of the party with which you self-identify. You also arent required to vote for the candidates or party you selected back in the March primary
The general election allows voters to choose candidates from multiple parties for different positions. Think the Republican would make a good governor, but prefer the Democratic candidate for attorney general? Go for it. .
Illinois used to have straight-ticket voting, which allowed voters to select a partys entire slate of candidates across all offices with the push of a button. The legislature outlawed that in 1997, but you can still replicate the experience if you want its just more cumbersome.
But to understand how your final ballot came to be, we need to step back and look at the primary process that got us here.
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Who Can Vote By Mail
U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marines, their dependents and U.S. citizens who live abroad can vote early by mail. For more information, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.
Mail/absentee ballot voting is also available to elderly voters and voters with physical disabilities. You may be eligible to vote by mail if you are:
- Going to be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting.
- Out-of-state college students who still claim a Texas address as their primary residence.
- Sick or disabled
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote
Absentee/mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots from overseas voters must be received by the 5th day after Election Day. Ballots from members of the armed forces must be received by the 6th day after Election Day. Members of the military and other overseas voters can track the status of their ballot online.
Bexar County voters who are interested in voting by mail must submit this application to the Bexar County Elections Department no later than 11 days before Election Day . If you have questions, call 210-335-0362.
Senate Bill 1 which was signed into law last year by Gov. Greg Abbott makes several changes to the election process in Texas, including some rules for voters hoping to cast their ballot by mail for the 2022 Texas midterms.
You can read about the changes to the application process here.
to find out where to submit your application for ballot by mail in other Texas counties.
How Many Delegates Are Up For Grabs
New Hampshire has 24 national delegates. There are 16 district-level delegates divided between the states two congressional districts, five at-large delegates and three pledged party leader and elected official delegates. Candidates need to get at least 15% of the vote in a district or statewide to reach the delegate threshold. If no candidate reaches 15% which is unlikelybased on current polling the threshold is half of whatever the front-runners vote percentage is in the district.
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How Does Party Affiliation Work In Texas
In Texas, there are several main ways for a voter to affiliate with a party: by being accepted to vote in a partys primary election, by taking the required oath at a party precinct convention, or by taking a party oath of affiliation generally . A voters affiliation with a party automatically expires at the end of each calendar year, which is December 31. . A voter who has affiliated themselves with a party is ineligible to participate in the party affairs of another party during the same calendar year.
If a voter has not voted in a party primary or taken an oath of affiliation with a party this calendar year, they have not yet affiliated with any party. If a voter has not yet affiliated with a party, they are able to vote in either partys primary election. However, if a voter votes in the primary of one party, they will only be able to vote in that partys primary runoff election. After being affiliated with a party, a voter is not able to change or cancel their party affiliation until the end of the calendar year.