It remains to be seen whether New York State’s presidential primary on August 19 will be a real race or an anti-climactic coronation of candidates who emerge victorious from the slew of contests during March.
No matter what the stakes are, however, the vote that day will actually be several different votes in one.
On the Republican side, the statewide contest and the race in each Congressional district will matter in different ways. At-large delegates will be awarded based on statewide results. Separately, each district will send three delegates. If a candidate wins a majority in that district, she or he gets them all. If no one wins a majority in a district, the candidate who comes in first gets two delegates and the second-place finisher gets one. But only candidates with 20 percent of the vote or more can get a delegate. Got it?
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The Democrats actually run two separate elections in each Congressional district. Voters choose a presidential candidate, but also vote for delegates pledged to each candidate. When the votes are tallied, only presidential candidates who break 15 percent in a district get delegates.
The vote tallies for individual delegates then determine the order in which those delegates are picked: The delegate for the winning presidential candidate who got the most votes among delegates gets picked first, then the second-place delegate for the winning candidate, then the top vote-getter for the second-place presidential candidate, and so on. The delegate picks also alternate by gender.
The State Board of Elections on Tuesday released the delegate lists for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Here’s who you’ll—sort of—be voting for if you’re a Dem and go to the polls that day: