RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The ABC11 I-Team is answering your questions about Vote 2020 ahead of Super Tuesday.
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In an email to ABC11, Marshi Huneycutt wrote: "I live in FL, and my aunt who NC showed me on FaceTime her sample ballot for the upcoming election and Democratic presidential primary. At the bottom of the list of presidential candidates is a spot to indicate NO PREFERENCE. She said she heard from her friends that if she blackens in that spot, every one of the candidates will get a vote. Can you check on this? None of the other races had NO PREFERENCE spots."
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We checked sample ballots for both Democrat and Republican primaries, and it's that a "No Preference" option appears at the bottom.
According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, this means the voter does not prefer any of the candidates on the ballot but it does not mean every candidate gets a vote.
Here's how the law reads:
163-213.7. Voting in presidential preference primary; ballots.
The names of all candidates in the presidential preference primary shall appear at an appropriate place on the ballot or voting machine. In addition the State Board of Elections shall provide a category on the ballot or voting machine allowing voters in each political party to vote an "uncommitted" or "no preference" status. The voter shall be able to cast his ballot for one of the presidential candidates of a political party or for an "uncommitted" or "no preference" status, but shall not be permitted to vote for candidates or "uncommitted" status of a political party different from his registration. Persons registered as "Unaffiliated" shall not participate in the presidential primary except as provided in G.S. 163-119. (1971, c. 225; 1975, c. 744; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 52; 2004-127, s. 11; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)
Presidential primaries feature this option because delegates are at stake, and if "No Preference" reaches a certain threshold - at least 15 percent of the votes for Democrats - then "No Preference" could "win" delegates per party rules.
Of course, if those delegates go to "No Preference," they are not being won by another candidate, who needs to win a certain amount of delegates to win the nomination.
You asked, we investigated: Here's what the 'no preference' option means on your Primary ballot