Election officials remind voters to mark delegates

February 4, 2008 4:54:49 PM PST
The voting doesn't stop after you pick your presidential candidate. If you make an error, you could jeopardize your vote for president.

"You move to the next page and you'll see the list of delegates," said chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners, Langdon Neal.

Welcome to the challenging course of Delegates 101. Neal says when you vote for your presidential candidate Tuesday, you need to be aware to go further on the ballot and see the boxes to vote for delegates.

"Behind the name of each delegate is the presidential candidate associated with those delegates. It's very important that you select the delegate associated with the candidate you want to win for president," Neal said.

The delegates are the appointed voters to decide each party's nomination, and it's important to match up the right delegates to their candidates. Because of Republican Party rules in Illinois, it's most crucial for Republicans. If you were to vote for John McCain for some reason vote for Mitt Romney's delegates, "you could have a scenario where McCain could win. And if more voters voted for Romney's delegates, McCain could be the winner, and Romney's delegates could go to the convention," said Neal.

The Democratic Party's rules prevent that from happening. Delegates are allocated according to the percentage of the popular vote for a presidential candidate. If you think that's confusing, "there are different rules in every different state for how delegates are selected," said Neal.

Regardless of how each party uses these formulas, the bottom line is that you should vote for the candidate you want and then vote for the delegates that represent that candidate.