EDITORIAL: Do your delegate homework
Much has been written about Pennsylvania’s unique delegate process and how it could factor into primary candidates’ outcomes on Tuesday. It’s complex, and it requires York County voters do some research before casting their ballots if they want to ensure — to the best of their ability — the vote they cast is for the delegate who will best represent them at their respective conventions.
On the GOP side, elected delegates aren't required to say who they'd support for president ahead of the state's primary on Tuesday and can vote for any of the three GOP candidates — businessman Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — at the party's July convention in Cleveland.
On the Democratic side, voters know who each of the delegate candidates back for president — either Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — when they head to the polls. Who each delegate candidate supports is listed beside his or her name on the ballot.
The Republican and Democratic parties in York County have put together voting guides on their websites and they list the delegates and provide information available about their voting intentions. The Republican voting guide is at www.yorkpagop.org/ and the Democratic Party website lists its delegates at www.yorkdems.org/delegate-process.
Additionally, Dispatch political reporter Greg Gross has written extensively regarding the delegate process, who the delegates are and how they have pledged to vote (for those who have specified their choices). He has explained the complicated delegate rules, but the bottom line remains: Registered Republicans especially need to know going into their polling place which delegate to vote for. On the Democratic ticket, the listing is clearer. And we have listings of delegates and their choices in our stories at www.yorkdispatch.com.
The U.S. Constitution does not outline the presidential nomination process. Therefore, as Franklin and Marshall College pollster Terry Madonna told The York Dispatch, "This system in Pennsylvania is a throwback to when it was decided by party bosses."
With no clear winner so far this primary season, the GOP convention could be contested, and Pennsylvania's delegates could be a deciding factor in who gets the nomination.
This primary is unique. Democrats and Republicans have been energized by self-described outsider candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, respectively.
It’s a great time to be involved in what may be a changing tide in the American political landscape. It may be time for voters to take back their power from the business-as-usual political lifers.
But to do so, we must be informed, especially in Pennsylvania, where so much rides on a complex primary process.