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Fri, May 24

Candidates who ‘suspended’ campaigns still on Tuesday’s ballot

PRESCOTT – Voters in Yavapai County’s Republican Presidential Preference Election on Tuesday, March 22, will see 14 names on their ballots, but just four still have active campaigns.

Those GOP candidates include Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Tim Cook.

Among the Democrats, there are six names on the ballot, but the only candidate who has suspended his campaign is Martin O’Malley. That leaves Roque De La Fuente, Michael Steinberg, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Henry Hughes.

Both Green Party candidates, Kent Mesplay and Jill Stein, are still in the race as well.

What happens to ballots for candidates who have suspended campaigns?

Arizona Republican Party spokesman Tim Sifert explained the ballots will be counted as they were cast – that’s state law.

That means if a voter cast a ballot for Marco Rubio, the most recent GOP candidate to suspend his campaign, that vote still counts.

Voters can’t change their vote, and as Sifert explained, voting twice in an election is a crime.

Arizona law does not have a provision to remove a presidential candidate from next week’s election, so all those candidates’ names are still on the ballot and can receive votes.

Sifert said it’s one reason candidates suspend campaigns instead of withdrawing.

He said it’s possible for voters in one state to resurrect a suspended campaign, though he agreed it’s a very unlikely scenario.

Yavapai County elections officials said one of the reasons voters will see names of candidates who have suspended their campaigns, is the deadlines for printing ballots.

County officials mailed ballots mailed to military personnel in February, and the deadline for printing was even earlier than that, leaving 10 Republicans and one Democrat on ballots, despite the candidate having suspended their campaign.

The deadline for in-person, early voting was Friday.

Elections officials reminded voters not to mail ballots later than that date, since they are unlikely to be delivered in time to be counted Tuesday.

Election day is Tuesday, March 22, and voters who already received ballots by mail can drop them in any ballot drop box.

For a list of ballot drop boxes and vote centers, visit yavapai.us/electionsvr.

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