PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Rhode Islanders finally get their chance to vote in a Presidential Primary Tomorrow (Tuesday).
You will vote for 1 candidate for President, and up to 8 candidates for Delegate to the GOP national convention (held in Tampa August 27 to 30).
You will have 6 choices for President:
You will have 35 choices for Delegate, if you are in Congressional District 1, or 47 choices for Delegate if you are in Congressional District 2. All Delegate candidates are listed under the Presidential candidate that they have committed to.
You can vote for any 8 Delegate candidates, anywhere on the ballot, no matter who you vote for for President.
Rhode Island is a “Proportional Representation” state. Any Presidential candidate, who gets at least 15 percent of the vote statewide, will get a proportional share of the 16 Delegates and 16 Alternates to be elected (8 Delegates and 8 Alternates in each Congressional District). (R.I. will also have 3 super-Delegates, the 3 National Committee people, who are not on the ballot tomorrow).
We expect a small turnout tomorrow (as little as 15,000 voters statewide), because the news media has told everyone that the race is already over and your vote does not matter. That means that as little as 2,250 votes for a Presidential candidate will be enough to win Delegates for him.
So if your first choice is Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul; you should still go vote for them tomorrow, in order to elect Delegates who will promote their issues at the national convention.
WHERE TO VOTE
You will NOT necessarily be voting at your usual polling place tomorrow. (A lot of polling places are being combined, due to the expected low turnout). Go to the Secretary of State’s web site, to determine where you vote:
Enter your name, date of birth, and city or town; and you will get the location of your polling place.
The same web site listed above will also allow you to click on a link for “View Ballot”. You will get a .pdf file, that you can print out.
We strongly suggest that you print this out, and fill it out before you go to vote. The ballot is confusing, and the Delegate candidates are not listed in alphabetical order. They are in an order determined by lottery. So it will make things much easier for you, if you fill out this sample ballot in advance, and bring it with you.