This year’s presidential candidates are eager to earn the votes of the American people. But in order to secure a spot in the general election, they must have support from majority of delegates at the National Convention.
Typically delegates consist of former governors, and other statewide officials. But many more people are eligible, according to the spokesperson for the Arizona Republican Party, Tim Sifert.
“Any registered Republican voter is eligible to be a national delegate and is also eligible to be a delegate to the state convention,” Sifert said.
For this year’s election, the process started back in 2014, when the Republic Committee elected Precinct Committeemen. This group represents each of the 30 local districts in the state and are responsible for electing the 1,251 delegates who will go to the State Convention on April 30th.
From there, those selected cast their vote for a total of 58 delegates who will attend the National Convention in July, and with a majority vote, elect a candidate to represent their party in the primary election.
For the first round of votes, delegates are bound by law to “vote for the winner of the primary in Arizona, also known as the preference election,” Sifert said.
So by default, Donald Trump will sweep those ballots, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause for those supporting Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz.
“It’s still majority rule. But Donald Trump has not demonstrated that he can get the majority in any state, with the possible exception of New York,” Arizona State Delegate, John Kaites, said.
If there is a second round of voting, all bets are off and delegates can cast their ballot for who they think belongs in the white house.
“We can then look at who might be the best person for that position…obviously I believe that’s John Kasich. I believe John Kasich has the experience and the capability of winning in November,” Kaites said.
Arizona State Delegate, Chris Herring, said the overall process is lengthy but there’s still hope for Cruz supporters.
“There’s definitely hope for Cruz supporters, 100-percent. What Cruz is doing is he’s playing by the rules of the party he’s a member of, and I think that’s important to understand,” Herring said.
The State Convention in Arizona will take place at the Mesa Convention Center on April 30th. In July, those elected delegates will continue to the National Convention in Cleveland, OH.