Please don't spread misinformation about primary ballot status and delegatesSubmitted by marksstc on Sun, 01/29/2012 - 12:35
I keep seeing well-meaning comments from Ron Paul supporters claiming that certain other candidates are either not on some state primary ballots and/or they don't have an opportunity to win delegates in certain states. Illinois is one of the states frequently mentioned in these comments. I haven't done the research in the other states, but here's what I found out from combing through the filings on the Illinois State Board of Elections site (www.elections.il.gov) and having looked up the delegate allocation rules of the Illinois GOP:
1. The Illinois GOP presidential primary ballot will include six candidates: Paul, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry and Roemer.
2. Illinois will send 69 delegates to the GOP presidential nominating convention.
3. Three Illinois delegates will be superdelegates, appointed by the state central committee.
4. Twelve Illinois delegates will be "at-large delegates" allocated proportionately based on the primary vote (only candidates receiving more than 10 percent of the vote are eligible to win any of the at-large delegates.
5. The remaining 54 delegates will be elected from Illinois' 18 congressional districts. Each congressional disctrict elects either 2, 3 or 4 delegates, based on some criteria (probably the number of registered republicans in the district, or the district's previous republican vote totals). The names of the delegates (and alternates) are actually on the ballot, and voters cast their votes for specific delegate candidates. (I was a Ron Paul delegate candidate in IL-CD14 in 2008, so I know what I'm talking about.) In other words, there's no real link between voting for the presidential candidate and voting for delegates. You could theoretically vote for Gingrich for president and vote for Ron Paul's four delegates in your district.
6. Among the presidential candidates in Illinois, three candidates have full slates of delegates (and alternates) on the ballot: Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Santorum has 44 delegates running, and Perry has one.
So please, when you're making statements about the status of the Illinois primary, deal in the facts. And the facts are that all four remaining candidates are on the ballot, and all but Santorum have full slates of delegates.