Q What was the deal with that “uninstructed” option on the April 5 presidential primary ballot?
A While some voters have a staunch opinion on who should be designated as the presidential candidate for their given political party, some would prefer the delegates make their own decision.
“The purpose of the Presidential Preference Primary is to provide direction to the delegates representing Wisconsin for each of the two major political parties at the national convention of the respective parties,” said Michael Haas, elections division administrator for the Government Accountability Board.
Voting under the uninstructed designation is a way for a voter to direct the delegates to make their own decisions at the national convention, Haas said.
“If a sufficient number of people marked the line for uninstructed delegates, then a certain number of delegates from either the statewide results or congressional district results would be designated as uninstructed delegates,” he said.
Haas said each party had three delegates per congressional district, and if an “uninstructed delegate” won in any district, three delegates would go to the convention as “uninstructed delegates.”
During Wisconsin’s Republican primary, 2,288 voters chose their delegates to go to the convention uninstructed, more votes than received by once-presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Jim Gilmore, according to The Associated Press.
On the Democratic side, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, garnered 1,765 votes compared to 1,451 for uninstructed.
— Amanda Finn, Logan Wroge
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