Preference Elections Are Party Elections



Payson Roundup reporter Teresa McQuerrey apparently doesn't get it.

The presidential preference elections are a national party thing that is a way of selecting delegates to the national conventions. Arizona Democrats have 63 delegates. The delegates represent candidates based on the percentage of the presidential preference elections. A candidate who garners 30 percent of the vote will get 30 percent or so of the delegates from Arizona. There are always left-overs -- they are the "uncommitted" delegates. And the party appoints a few "at-large" delegates just to make the process interesting and confusing politically. These 63 folks attend the Democratic Party Convention and help choose the party's candidate for president and his/her running mate.

On Sept. 7, we hold the primary election in which all registered voters get to choose the candidates representing each party in the general election in November. The National Party Candidates for President may be challenged by any qualified candidate who gets enough petition signatures by mid-June to qualify for the primary ballot.

The presidential preference elections are party elections at the grass-roots level. Those elections drive the national conventions. And the September primaries are the final cut for party candidates. The November general elections allow everyone to vote for any candidate who qualifies.

Hope this helps.

Ted Thayer, Vice Chairman, Gila County Democratic Party

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