SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri’s Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft, explains what actually happens when you cast a ballot tomorrow, March 10, Missouri’s Presidential Preference Primary.
“In the primary, obviously, the voters will vote on who they want to be their president of the United States,” Ashcroft said. “Now, it’s not direct, ‘your vote actually goes to that individual.’ What the parties then do, is they will hold a caucus and in the caucus, they actually decide who will go to the national conventions and the people that go to the national convention will then vote for whomever they want to at the national convention.”
Ashcroft’s office is responsible for elections and election education across the state.
“We really try to make sure that in all this other information or misinformation that’s out there, we can be a beacon of that true information about the process and how to participate,” Ashcroft said.
Because your vote essentially lets the parties know who you want, according to Ashcroft, the state calls it the Presidential Preference Primary.
“There is no statutory requirement that your vote for a nominee for president actually translates into any delegates for that nominee,” Ashcroft said.
He recommends anyone who can vote, to do it.
“It’s always important that we get out and utilize our right of suffrage,” Ashcroft said. “Any time a group of individuals decides not to participate, then we lose their wisdom, we lose their participation and I think the more people we have, the more different perspectives and point of views, the more likely we are to get to the best answer and to avoid some unintended consequences that you all might not see just because of our viewpoint.”
Ashcroft suggests that voters should make sure they know the candidates that are running and what they stand for.
“The most important thing is just because it’s online, doesn’t mean it’s true,” Ashcroft said. “Secondly, in Missouri, regardless of what you’ve heard, if you’re registered, you will be allowed to vote and your vote will count. So, you have no excuse. Get out and vote.”