Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer all dropped their bid for the Democratic nomination president within 72 hours of Super Tuesday, changing the calculus in 14 states, including Minnesota, right before people head out to vote.
But tens of thousands of people already cast their ballots utilizing the state’s early voting system. That includes early votes for home state candidate Klobuchar, who pulled out of the race on the eve of the election and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
For those early voters, the deadline has passed to change their vote. It’s just one complication under the first presidential primary system in the state in nearly 30 years.
Here’s what you need to know about what happens next:
Why can’t I change my early vote if my candidate has dropped out?
Minnesota’s early voting law lets people claw back their early ballot, but the deadline to do so is one week before the election, or in this case, Feb. 25.
Will my vote still be counted, even if the candidate I supported dropped out?
Yes, votes for Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Steyer or any other candidate on the Minnesota ballot who has since dropped out will still be counted and go toward their vote total in the state. Any candidate that manages to reach a threshold of 15% support will still be awarded a proportional number of delegates to their vote total. Those delegates will go on to the national nominating convention, even if their candidate is not running anymore. In Minnesota, there are 75 delegates and six alternates up for grabs on Super Tuesday.
What happens with the delegates of candidates who are no longer in the race?
Those delegates are still bound to candidates until the day of the convention. A candidate like Klobuchar, for instance, can choose to release any delegates bound to her on the first ballot of the nomination vote and ask them to support a different candidate like Biden. After the first ballot, those delegates are no longer bound to the candidate.
How many people voted early in Minnesota?
Secretary of State Steve Simon released the final pre-election batch of early voting numbers on Friday, showing 94,287 people had requested early ballots. Of that total, 81,773 were DFL ballots and 57,196 of those had already been accepted by his office. Simon said he’s been warning voters that the presidential primary isn’t like any other election.
“I’ve been saying everywhere I go around the state, keep in mind, this kind of contest is different from an August primary election because candidates routinely drop out,” he said. “That doesn’t happen with a regular gubernatorial election in November, where candidates don’t typically just drop out of the race.”
How many candidates are on the Minnesota DFL ballot?
There were still 15 candidates running for the Democratic nomination back in December, when the DFL Party had to submit their list of candidates to the Secretary of State. Since then, 10 candidates have dropped out.
Who is still running?
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusets Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard are still in the race for the Democratic nomination. The only name on the Republican Party’s ballot is Donald Trump.