We’ve learned through social media that the Alabama Democratic Conference is distributing sample ballots across the state that mislead voters. The ADC endorsed Michael Bloomberg, who entered the race late. Bloomberg qualified to be on the Alabama ballot at the last possible moment. Because of that, he doesn’t have any pledged delegates on the Alabama Democratic primary ballot. People who might have supported him and wanted to be delegates didn’t have time to file their paperwork.
To make sure we understood how the ballot and how votes are tabulated, we talked with voter registrars in 3 counties and attended the public test of voting machines in Madison County on Wednesday, 2/26.
THERE IS NO AMBIGUITY HERE. IF YOU VOTE FOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG FOR PRESIDENT AND VOTE FOR “UNCOMMITTED” DELEGATES THINKING THAT THEY WILL SOMEHOW BE ASSIGNED TO HIM AFTER THE ELECTION, YOU ARE MISTAKEN.
Your vote for Bloomberg for President will count. Your vote for Uncommitted delegates will be ignored.
And yet, this the sample ballot distributed outside churches in Madison County today seems to indicate that you can vote for Bloomberg AND the ADC’s endorsed “Uncommitted” delegates. You can; the machine won’t reject your ballot. But it also won’t count the votes for the Uncommitted delegates.
Here is how the Alabama Democratic Party ballot works – including how votes get counted – or not counted.
Here what happens if you vote for a candidate who doesn’t have any delegates on the ballot.
Please vote on March 3, and vote for the candidate you think best represents you. Remember: as a voter, you have an obligation to understand how the ballot works and how the votes get counted.
This sample ballot is misleading and incorrect.
If you’re a Bloomberg supporter, that’s great! All candidates have to get at least 15% of the vote in a congressional district to earn delegates.
Bloomberg doesn’t have any delegates on the ballot, but voting for Uncommitted delegates won’t elect delegates for him. The Alabama Delegate Selection Plan approved by the Democratic National Committee has a procedure that will allow Bloomberg supporters to elect delegates after the primary, on March 28. Learn how that process works.
And please, please don’t spread misinformation. It confuses people, angers them, and makes them less likely to vote because they don’t trust the process.