Primary Preview: What Delegates Are Up For Grabs? - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Primary Preview: What Delegates Are Up For Grabs?

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MILTON, Del.- It would be hard not to notice that the election season has come to the Delmarva Peninsula. With every delegate counting this year, there's been an added focus on the peninsula, with primaries set for Tuesday in both Delaware and Maryland. This follows high-profile visits from presidential hopefuls like Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to the area. 

At the Sussex County Department of Elections office, the staff stopped giving out absentee ballots at noon, but had received more than 1,800 ballots by then. Director for the Sussex County office, Kenneth McDowell said that the visits from candidates like Trump generated a lot of visitors. 

"There was a definite impact," he said. "With the phone calls. 'What do I have to do to vote absentee? Where's my poll site?' Definitely it lit the call-board up."

In Maryland, there are 118 Democratic delegates and 38 Republican delegates up for grabs. In Delaware, there are 31 Democratic delegates and 16 Republican delegates. Salisbury University Professor Dr. Michael O'Loughlin said the parties differ greatly in how they distribute delegates. 

"In the Democratic party," he said. "They use a proportional system, which means that the delegates are divided up according to the percentage of votes that they get... On the Republican side, the winner-takes-all formula means that on the district level - whoever wins the election - wins all the delegates in that district." 

Another important distinction on the Democratic side is between "pledged" delegates and "unpledged" delegates. Unpledged delegates do not need to follow the vote count, whereas pledged delegates are bound by these votes. In the Democratic Party, there are 33 unpledged delegates from Delaware and Maryland. All Republican delegates are pledged delegates.

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