Saturday is final day to register for Delaware presidential primary

DOVER — Saturday is the deadline to register to vote in the state’s presidential primary on April 26.

Delaware residents can register in person at any one of the five election offices located in Wilmington, New Castle, Dover and Georgetown.

The offices will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

In Kent County, three libraries will be open Saturday to allow citizens to register: Dover Public Library from 1 to 4:30 p.m., Harrington Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Smyrna Library from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

For those in the military or living overseas, April 11 is the last day to register.

While only five candidates have gained delegates nationally, three Democrats and six Republicans will be on the ballot in Delaware.

Three Republican candidates — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — dropped out of the race after submitting the necessary information to appear on Delaware’s ballots but have not filed paperwork that would officially remove them from the ballots, Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove said.

As a result, they can receive votes and even delegates despite no longer being in the running, she said.

Among Republicans, Donald Trump leads U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York is ahead of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

In addition to Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Sanders, Democrat Roque De La Fuente, a California businessman, has gained ballot access in Delaware.

Delaware is one of five states holding a primary on April 26, joining Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Because of its small population, the First State generally has little relevance nationwide in primaries, but the contested nature of both races means the state could play a role with its 31 Democratic delegates and 16 Republican delegates.

Ten of its 31 Democratic selectors are superdelegates, whose votes are not tied to the popular vote. They include Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. Jack Markell and the state’s congressional delegation. Of those 10, at least five have endorsed Ms. Clinton: Gov. Markell, the three members of the congressional delegation and former state House Speaker Robert Gilligan.

For Republicans, Delaware is a winner-take-all state, while Democratic candidates receive delegates based on the percentage of votes they receive.

Delaware Republicans will meet April 30 to select their delegates to the national convention, and Democrats will do the same one week later.

Because the state has a “closed” primary, Republicans can vote only for a Republican candidate and Democrats can vote only for a Democratic candidate.

The deadline to change party registration has passed.

Anyone with questions, including where to vote and how to register online, can visit https://ivote.de.gov/.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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