Presidential candidates who dropped out still on ballot - what happens if they get votes?

Posted at 9:46 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 23:26:55-05

NORFOLK, Va. -- Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer -- since Saturday, they all announced they've dropped out, but their names will show up on Super Tuesday primary ballots since the ballots were printed weeks ago.

"The candidates that actually dropped out of the race and actually suspended their campaigns," Dr. Eric W. Claville, a political analyst and Director of the Center for African American Public Policy at Norfolk State University, explained, "which is different from ending their campaign, are still legally able to be on the ballots for the states which they qualified for."

Ballots were already printed before the Democratic candidates announced they were dropping out of the presidential race. According to the Virginia Department of Elections, other candidates who have dropped out prior - such Deval Patrick, Andrew Yang and Cory Booker, among others - will also be on the ballot. Because the names are on the ballot, a voter can still vote for those candidates.

"However, the candidates have put their support behind a candidate still in the race," Claville said. "More specifically Joe Biden, and urging their voters to vote for that particular candidate."

They're vying for Virginia's 99 delegates and North Carolina's 110. It is unlikely, but if one of the dropped-out candidates happened to get a majority of the votes, Claville said the candidate can continue their campaigns from where they left off.

"Anyone that suspends their campaign, it means that they could un-suspend a campaign and start it back up," Claville explained. "So the campaign is not ended, so technically they could, but I don't see that happening."

He said the final decision will be made by the voters.

"I tell everyone to vote your conscience. You do have the right and exercise your right to vote," Claville said.

The polls are open from 6 a.m.- 7 p.m in Virginia. In North Carolina, the polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Click here for everything you need to know for Super Tuesday.