If there’s one legacy this election cycle will leave — besides, perhaps, blowing up one or both major political parties — it is voter awareness of the mechanics of the process. With mistrust of “the establishment” and “the system” is high, voters are watching closely for any signs of the “establishment” trying to “steal” the election from the people.
Even longstanding delegate processes are being questioned.
And, of course, any irregularities at the polls or on ballots are quickly going viral, thanks to social media.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have both become champions of the “system is rigged” message. And given his vehemence around this cause, some are predicting Trump and his supporters will be prepared to cry foul, should the candidate fall short of hitting the 50% threshold to sweep the state’s delegates.
And, should this be the case tonight, one possible culprit who may be blamed is none other than Trump surrogate Ben Carson.
Via IJ Review:
When New Yorkers headed to the primary polls on Tuesday, they may have noticed something strange about their ballots. There was one notable name on the ballot belonging to a man who is no longer a candidate in the race: Dr. Ben Carson.
Several days ahead of the primary, journalist Ed Reilly posted a photo of the New York State ballots:
Trump supporters were quick to call it another scam, a conspiracy to deny Trump delegates and — by extension — the nomination:
But Thomas Connolly of the New York State Board of Elections gave a statement on the issue.
“Carson was late on submitting a letter requesting to be removed from the state’s ballot.”
During a normal election cycle, a candidate’s name remaining on the ballot likely would not make much difference. But the extremely competitive nature of the 2016 primary — and the ever-increasing likelihood of a contested convention — make this mistake a much bigger deal.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, votes for Carson will be voided rather than counted. They won’t factor in to the percentages the other candidates receive. But any vote for Carson is a vote that one of the viable candidates won’t get.
While it seems that the conspiracy theorists might be blowing the dog whistles a little early, it is possible that voters who check the box for Dr. Ben Carson could impact the number of delegates Trump receives overall.
Indeed, whatever the reason Carson’s name is still on the ballot — and certainly the state’s Board of Elections statement on the issue seems credible, even if the board’s skill at conducting election day is not, as we reported earlier — in a race like this, where every delegate will make a difference, a “small” detail like this has the potential to make an impact. The devil indeed is in the details.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]