February definitely needed that extra day to prepare for the craziness that is Super Tuesday, during which 12 states will vote in the primary election, along with American Samoa. The majority of these 12 states are located in the southeast region of the United States, but elections are spread over a nationwide range. In fact, Super Tuesday is also nicknamed the SEC Primaries after the Southeastern Conference — an athletic conference composed of universities reigning from a number of southern states.
Both Republicans and Democrats will be holding elections in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. Republicans will be caucusing in Alaska and Wyoming and Democrats will be doing the same in Colorado. Additionally, American Samoans will also hold a Democratic election. If you live in any of these states, get yourself out to the ballots and cast that vote! As they say, each vote counts — especially in this election.
Most polls close around 7:30 pm on Tuesday evening, but Alaska and Colorado, who hold caucuses instead of primaries, will be holding elections late into the night. According to Politico, Democratic contestants are allotted 865 delegates and Republicans have an opportunity to secure up to 661. If Trump, for example, barely wins the majority (331 delegates), he will have raked up over a third the number of delegates (1,237) needed to win the race. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, similarly, could win the bare majority (433 delegates) and come out with significantly more than a third of the number of delegates (2,383) needed to declare victory.
As NPR's Jessica Taylor explains, these election results will be based on far more than just who wins. Since the states aren't winner-take-all, the margin of victory is just as important as the victory itself. In other words, delegates will also be allotted to second and even third place winners if the threshold of support is high enough. But to ensure these results are representative of the American people, citizens have to get out and vote. Amid the 41 states that held primaries for both Democratic and Republican candidates in 2012, voter turnout barely surpassed 17 percent. That means that less than one in five registered voters bothered to visit the ballots. This year's turnout is particularly uncertain because many people have a difficult time siding with any candidate in the race.
According to the Washington Post's Philip Rucker, John Wagner, and Juliet Eilperin, certain voters have conceded to supporting the candidate they perceive to represent the lesser of two evils. Freelance writer Barbara Kennedy met the journalists in Arlington, Virginia and expressed her general distrust in the system, a viewpoint many have come to share.
I was just thinking about all the hope we had eight years ago. Now you’ve got to choose the best of the worst.
Trust also plays a huge role in Democrats who are siding against Hillary Clinton. Another Virginia woman named Claudia Mackintosh explained why she's voting for Sanders at the polls. And it's not because she agrees with every one of his policies.
It’s tragic. I would love to see a woman president, but I just don’t trust her. My perception is that she’s controlled by the corporate donors.
In summary, voting for candidates you don't support 100 percent can be disheartening, but it's better than remaining complacent. And if you don't live in those 12 states, it's not too late to make up your mind. Elections will run well into March and April for the rest of the nation minus the "first-to-vote" states.
Believe it or not, both primaries and caucuses can be laugh-out-loud hilarious. Don't believe us? Have a listen to Bustle's "The Chat Room" podcast...
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