Confusion on Ohio GOP ballot; What you need to know - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Election 2016

Confusion on Ohio GOP ballot; What you need to know

(FOX19 NOW/Ohio Secretary of State) (FOX19 NOW/Ohio Secretary of State)
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19/AP) -

A ballot twist is causing confusion ahead of Ohio’s March 15 primary election.

Every Republican primary ballot has two opportunities to vote for president: The first ballot question is for designating an at-large presidential delegate. The second is for picking a delegate for the voter's congressional district.

Both contests will be counted, but the awarding of delegates is based solely on the first question for picking an at-large delegate. 

The Ohio Republican Party suggest voters select their favorite candidate and fill in the bubble in both the at-large and district columns, according to Communications Director Brittney Warner. If you chose two different candidates, only the delegates at large column will count, Republicans say.

Ohioans are not nominating a person for president; They're voting to elect delegates that have pledged to vote for a particular candidate for president at the convention in Cleveland.

Why have the two options on the ballot? Last September, the Republican Party decided to change how it awards delegates in Ohio to a winner takes all process. The second options is a carry-over from a time when Ohio's Republican vote was divided proportionally.

"Essentially we are required by law to have both contests, but the awarding of delegates under Republican Party rules is based in the first question,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Further complicating matters? Ballots still list 11 Republican at-large presidential candidates and up to 10 district candidates. Only four remain in the primary race.

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