The Democratic nomination process continues today with the South Carolina Democratic primary on February 29. The Democratic nomination isn't decided by who wins the most votes, but by which candidates receive the most delegates to represent their campaign. The number of delegates each state gets is decided by a number of factors including how big the state is, how Democratic they lean, when they vote, and if they vote with their neighbors. At the convention, a candidate will be nominated when a simple majority of 1,991 out of 3,979 total pledged delegates support a given candidate.
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The Democratic nomination process continues today with the South Carolina Democratic primary on February 29 — see live updates here. Between February and June 2020, all 50 US states and seven US territories will hold a Democratic primary election or caucus to allocate delegates to the candidates, which began with the Iowa caucuses on February 3. The Democratic nomination isn't decided by who wins the most votes, but by which candidates receive the most delegates — people selected by each campaign from every state or district — to represent them at the Democratic National Convention, taking place July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here's where the candidates stand right now:
So far, only Iowa, which holds 41 delegates, New Hampshire, which holds 24, and Nevada, which holds 36, have allocated all of their projected pledged delegates to the convention. Decision Desk HQ in partnership with the University of Virginia Center for Politics further estimates that Biden will pick up at least 16 of South Carolina's 54 pledged delegates based on the results of the state's primary so far, which Biden is projected to win. The DNC has four states who vote early in every election cycle: Iowa on February 3, New Hampshire on February 11, Nevada on February 22, and South Carolina on February 29. While these primaries hold disproportionate importance in the process by going first, they only account for 4% of the total pledged delegates. Democrats allocate most of their pledged delegates proportionally by legislative district, in addition to allocating at-large and PLEO (party leader and elected official) delegates based on the statewide vote breakdown. Most states allocate their delegates by congressional districts, but some, like Texas and New Jersey, use state legislative districts instead. While delegates are allocated proportionally, in nearly every state the minimum threshold to earn delegates is 15% of the vote. This means candidates must break 15% of the vote either at the district or state level to earn any delegates at all. Every state has a certain number of delegates to allocate, which is determined by a number of factors including how big the state is, how Democratic they lean, when they vote, and if they vote with their neighbors. At the convention, a candidate will be nominated when a simple majority of 1,991 out of 3,979 total pledged delegates support a given candidate. Fifteen states, the territory of American Samoa, and Democrats who live abroad are holding Democratic primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday, which takes place on March 3, allocating 35% of the total delegates on that date alone. After Super Tuesday, primary dates get tactical, since states receive a delegate bonus for scheduling their primaries later in the cycle and holding their primaries on the same day as neighboring states. In general, states want to balance their role in narrowing the size of the field with having the final say on who wins by having the most possible delegates at the convention. Some states — the ones on Super Tuesday — are willing to leave all the extra delegates on the table in order to get the first bite at the apple. Other states will wait until the last possible vote — smaller states like New Jersey and New Mexico — to gain outsized representation at the convention and potentially a shot at playing kingmaker. Sixty percent of delegates will be decided after the March 17 primaries, and after the April 28 "Acela primaries," 90% of the total delegates to the convention will have been allocated, meaning we'll have a pretty good idea of who is favored to win the nomination by that point. Read more: LIVE UPDATES: Watch the results for today's South Carolina primaries Bernie Sanders' promise to turn out young voters is a double-edged sword Here's how Democrats will elect their presidential nominee over the next several months Here are the last days you can register to vote for the 2020 primary elections in every state and how to do itSEE ALSO: All of the important primary, convention, and debate dates you need to know for the 2020 presidential election Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
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A federal judge just ordered New York election officials to restore Bernie Sanders to the presidential primary ballot
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the New York Board of Elections must hold a...A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the New York Board of Elections must hold a presidential primary election and restore Sen. Bernie Sanders to the ballot. In an unprecedented move, New York canceled its Democratic presidential primary, which was originally scheduled for June 23, amid the coronavirus pandemic. New York District Court Judge Analisa Torres ordered that New York must hold a presidential primary including all 10 candidates who qualified, in response to a lawsuit from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the New York Board of Elections must hold a presidential primary election and restore Sen. Bernie Sanders and all other presidential candidates who qualified to the ballot. In an unprecedented move, New York canceled its Democratic presidential primary, which was originally scheduled for June 23, amid the coronavirus pandemic. New York District Court Judge Analisa Torres ordered that New York must hold a presidential primary including all 10 presidential candidates who qualified for the ballot, in response to a lawsuit from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and a number of New Yorkers who planned to attend the 2020 Democratic convention as delegates. The Board of Elections cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the dangers to in-person voting it poses in making the decision to cancel the primary. While dozens of states have postponed their primaries, New York is the only state who tried to cancel theirs. While Sanders dropped out of the presidential primary on April 8, he is continuing to stay on the ballot for the rest of the primary cycle and earn delegates towards the convention. "That has effectively ended the real contest for the presidential nomination," New York State Board of Elections Co-Chair Douglas Kellner said in justifying the board's decision to cancel the primary. "And what the Sanders supporters want is essentially a beauty contest that, given the situation with the public health emergency that exists now, seems to be unnecessary and, indeed, frivolous." While New York law requires voters to have a documented excuse to vote absentee, Cuomo essentially waived the requirement by issuing an executive order that adds the risk of getting COVID-19 as a valid excuse. Cuomo also recently announced that the state would send absentee-ballot applications with prepaid postage to registered voters to make it easy as possible for New Yorkers to vote from home. Sanders supporters argued that it made no sense for New York to cancel its primary given that the state is continuing to hold dozens of congressional and state-level primaries and is enacting no-excuse absentee voting for the June election. Judge Torres also agreed that canceling the primary would only marginally benefit public health. "In sum, removing Yang, Sanders, and other candidates from the Democratic primary ballot will protect the public from COVID-19 only to a limited extent," Judge Torres wrote in her decision. "But barring Plaintiffs and Plaintiff-Intervenors from participating in an election for party delegates will sharply curtail their associational rights." In addition to formally selecting a presidential nominee, Democrats convene several important committees at the convention to vote on the party's official platform and policy priorities. For Sanders and his representatives to have a spot on any of those powerful committees, he needs to earn 25% of all pledged delegates allocated throughout the Democratic nomination process. And an inability to compete for any of New York's 274 delegates could be a big blow to his efforts. Sanders' camp blasted the decision as undemocratic and unfair to voters, in addition to violating New York's own delegate selection plan. In an April 27 statement, senior Sanders advisor Jeff Weaver called the BOE's decision "an outrage," and "a blow to American democracy," noting that neither the DNC nor the Biden campaign requested the cancelation. "Given that the primary is months away, the proper response must be to make the election safe – such as going to all vote by mail – rather than to eliminating people's right to vote completely," Weaver said, calling for New York to lose all its delegates if the Board doesn't allow Sanders on the ballot. The Associated Press contributed reporting. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet