Graphic: How delegates work

By Annie Goeller | Daily Journal

State delegates

You vote: Voters will select state delegates during this year’s primary election. In Johnson County, Republicans have 33 candidates running for 40 open spots, and the party chairperson will select the other seven. Democrats have 33 candidates for 32 spots, meaning voters will be selecting the candidates.

They vote: State delegates go to their political party’s state conventions to select the Republican and Democrat candidates for state lieutenant governor, attorney general and superintendent of public instruction. They also select delegates for their party’s national convention. Republicans will meet June 11, and Democrats will meet June 18.

You vote again: The candidates selected for state office will face each other in the general election this fall.

National delegates

Who: In each congressional district, national delegates and alternates are chosen from a pool of people who apply. They do not have to be, but can be, the state delegates voters choose in the election. Each of those delegates is picked based on their past voting history, showing they have consistently voted Democrat or Republican, and whether they can afford the fee and expenses of attending the national convention — estimated at $2,000 to $3,500.

How they’re picked:

For the Republican Party, a caucus from each congressional district selects three national delegates and three alternates and one other person, called a presidential elector. District officers, who are elected by the members of each congressional district’s committee, along with the chairperson and vice chairperson of each county’s political party, or their representative in that district, select the delegates. The Republican Party state committee will also select 24 at-large delegates, 24 alternates and two presidential electors.

At the state convention, members of the Democratic Party choose a total of 56 people from the nine Congressional districts, along with 18 at-large delegates from anywhere in the state, and nine super delegates, who include the state’s members of the Democratic National Committee, and Democrats who are in elected offices for U.S. Senate or Congress or governor.

Their role: The delegates attend their party’s national convention, where a presidential candidate is selected. The Republican Party’s national convention will be from July 18 to 21 in Cleveland, and the Democratic Party’s national convention will be July 25 to 28 in Philadelphia.

How they vote

Republicans: On the first round of voting, Indiana delegates are required to vote for the candidate who won the primary election in Indiana. Other states do not have the same requirements. If no clear candidate is chosen in that first vote, then the delegates are allowed to vote for other candidates.

Democrats: Delegate votes are divided based on how many votes a candidate garnered in that state’s primary election, as long as they got more than 15 percent of the vote. The exception to that rule is with super delegates, who can vote for the candidate of their choice.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.