21 Democrats are on NH primary ballot, why not President Biden?
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21 Democrats are on NH primary ballot, why not President Biden?

He’s the incumbent, and he’s running for a second term, so why is President Joe Biden not on the ballot in the nation’s first presidential primary in New Hampshire?Granite State voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. Ballots in New Hampshire will feature 24 Republican candidates and 21 Democratic candidates, but Biden did not file for the primary, citing the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to move South Carolina’s primary ahead of New Hampshire’s.Under New Hampshire state law, however, the primary must be held at least one week before any other primary or similar contest. The DNC sought to change the calendar, but Secretary of State David Scanlan was adamant that New Hampshire has the right and legal obligation to go first.With Biden’s name absent from the ballot, New Hampshire Democrats are pushing a write-in campaign.Of course, a write-in campaign brings a new complication to counting votes. Where most votes are normally tabulated by a machine that scans for the voter’s marking in designated spots, election officials may now have to interpret a large number of handwritten ballot responses. What if a voter writes “President Biden” instead of “Joe Biden” or “Joseph R. Biden” on their ballot?New Hampshire law and a Supreme Court decision require the votes to be counted based on voter intent if it can be determined.”When it comes to counting the ballots, the instructions that we are giving the moderators and the poll workers generally, is that what is important when you’re counting that vote is can you determine the voter’s intent?” Scanlan recently told WMUR.This complicated process may also change the way in which results are reported on election night because the number of total write-in ballots will likely be known more quickly than the number of write-ins for any specific candidate.

He’s the incumbent, and he’s running for a second term, so why is President Joe Biden not on the ballot in the nation’s first presidential primary in New Hampshire?

Granite State voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024.

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Ballots in New Hampshire will feature 24 Republican candidates and 21 Democratic candidates, but Biden did not file for the primary, citing the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to move South Carolina’s primary ahead of New Hampshire’s.

Under New Hampshire state law, however, the primary must be held at least one week before any other primary or similar contest. The DNC sought to change the calendar, but Secretary of State David Scanlan was adamant that New Hampshire has the right and legal obligation to go first.

With Biden’s name absent from the ballot, New Hampshire Democrats are pushing a write-in campaign.

Of course, a write-in campaign brings a new complication to counting votes. Where most votes are normally tabulated by a machine that scans for the voter’s marking in designated spots, election officials may now have to interpret a large number of handwritten ballot responses.

What if a voter writes “President Biden” instead of “Joe Biden” or “Joseph R. Biden” on their ballot?

New Hampshire law and a Supreme Court decision require the votes to be counted based on voter intent if it can be determined.

“When it comes to counting the ballots, the instructions that we are giving the moderators and the poll workers generally, is that what is important when you’re counting that vote is can you determine the voter’s intent?” Scanlan recently told WMUR.

This complicated process may also change the way in which results are reported on election night because the number of total write-in ballots will likely be known more quickly than the number of write-ins for any specific candidate.

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