Republican ballot still has 13 candidates

Posted at 3:51 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 16:41:32-05
When you vote in the presidential primary election, you will still see thirteen names on the Republican ballot, even though all but five have suspended their campaigns.
“At this point all names are on the ballot. All names will be tabulated,” Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said.
Jeb Bush and several other candidates still appearing on the Republican primary ballot are basically out, but the law says election officials can’t change the ballot and can’t even tell you who’s still in the running.
“Nobody’s withdrawn. They’ve only suspended their campaigns, and we encourage voters before they come and vote, do the research, go [to] the websites to make sure the candidates they want to choose is still active. That’s the voters prerogative,” Corley said.
Suspending a campaign versus officially withdrawing allows candidates to continue to fundraise and to re-enter the race.
Some Republican voters would like to see less clutter on the ballot and just leave the candidates who are still running.
“Not that I’m against the others. They shouldn’t be there because it’s only going to water down the potential voters for a particular candidate that is still valid,” said Marco Rubio supporter Carol Mitsch.
If you voted for someone who’s now out of the race with an absentee ballot, it’s too late to change. And that vote will still be counted.
Corley said he’s seen record numbers of voters change affiliation switching from independent to Republican or Democrat.
“In Pasco, slightly more to Republicans than Democrats. Other counties it’s slightly more to Democrats. But clearly bottom line is they are coming from no party to one of the major parties to take part in this upcoming primary,” said Corley.
Pascal Bidot did just that, switching from independent to Democrat and voting for Bernie Sanders.
“In part it’s because I want to make sure Hillary Clinton does not get in power. So I’m trying to choose any way I can to make sure I neutralize her,” said Bidot.
“It’s probably the craziest election. I’m 69 years old. I’ve never missed a voting opportunity. It’s certainly different,” said voter James Ward.
If a candidate does officially withdraw from the campaign, then election officials would have to post a notice at the polling place to let voters know.