Only Sanders, Biden left in Delaware Democratic primary

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DOVER — Delaware Democrats will have just two candidates on the presidential primary ballot next month.

Your options will be Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

Anthony Albence, the state’s elections commissioner, said Friday that his staff was on a deadline to remove the names of the qualified candidates who wished to withdraw.

In February, it appeared there would be at least five names on the ballot in Delaware and there could have been seven or more. But that changed after the past week’s developments.

During a very newsy week in national politics, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, hedge fund manager and philanthropist Tom Steyer, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Michael Bloomberg all dropped out the race.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Biden surged ahead of Sen. Sanders in the race for delegates after big Super Tuesday victories.

On Monday, Buttigieg filed papers to withdraw from the Delaware race. Steyer officially withdrew Wednesday.

The state Department of Elections was in the process of certifying Bloomberg and Klobuchar petitions to appear on the Delaware ballot. “Even though they weren’t officially certified yet, we still got a withdrawal form from them,” he said. “They weren’t even on our website yet.”

He said Delaware’s elections staff was in contact with the Warren campaign Friday and anticipated a withdrawal form by the end of the day.

“Even if somebody says they’re not going to continue their campaign, and that’s for a national or local race, we don’t remove them until we actually have a withdrawal for official confirmation,” Mr. Albence said.

Delaware’s presidential primary date is April 28.

The last day to register to vote in the Delaware primary is April 4.

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You may be surprised to learn that there will be a Republican presidential primary on April 28, too.

Roque “Rocky” de la Fuente, a wealthy San Diego, California, businessman and perennial candidate is running against President Donald Trump.

Mr. de la Fuente, who has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s immigration policies, started out the year saying he would run for the Democratic Party nomination. In 2016, he was the nominee of the Reform Party and American Delta Party in a run for president.

To appear on the Delaware presidential primary ballot, a candidate has to file a petition bearing at least 500 valid signatures of registered voters of the same political party as the candidate.

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About 5,200 new registered voters were added in Delaware during the first two months of the year.

The Department of Elections keeps monthly statistics, documenting new voter registrations and changes in party registrations.

The Democratic Party total grew by about 3,400.

The Republican number is up about 1,200.

Of the state’s more than 718,000 registered voters, 47.5 percent are Democrats, 27.7 percent are Republicans and 22.7 percent have no party affiliation.

The rest belong are divided among a long list of alternative parties. The smallest is the Reform Party, which has 46 registered voters.

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The presidential primary will feature the first statewide use of the new Delaware election machines.

The Express Vote XL Universal Voting System machines were first used last spring for school board elections and have been employed for school referendums and municipal elections. The machines include voter-verifiable paper records that are scanned for tabulation.

“We’ve used them in some heavy duty elections, like the Indian River referendum, and they worked very well,” he said.

In a capital referendum to build a new Sussex Central High School, more than 12,000 Indian River School District residents voted. (It was approved.)

“You’d expect to see use like that in a real heavy general election in the high-density locations,” he said.

Two other recent referendums paled in comparison. About 1,733 voted in Seaford and 457 in Smyrna recently.