Super Tuesday: What you need to know before you head to the polls

NORTH CAROLINA — On Tuesday, more than a third of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary ballots will be cast as voters in 14 states and one territory go to the polls, including North Carolina.

>>> Voters can find their Election Day polling place by clicking here and view sample ballots by clicking here.

Super Tuesday will see the largest number of states hold primaries in a single day as voters decide who will represent their party in the presidential election in November.

So what is Super Tuesday that makes it so super and why does it matter? Here’s a look at what will happen.

What is Super Tuesday?

On Super Tuesday, 14 states, including North Carolina, will hold Democratic primaries and will award more than 1,357 delegates. That is nearly 34 percent of all pledged Democratic delegates.

While Republicans will also be voting in most of the 14 states, some of the states have canceled the Republican primaries in order to throw support behind President Donald Trump. South Carolina, while not a Super Tuesday state, canceled their Republican primary.

When is Super Tuesday?

Tuesday, March 3

Who is on the ballot?

The four major Democratic candidates on the ballot are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg.

Candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out ahead of Super Tuesday and are now endorsing their former rival Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The recent Democratic dropouts might be upsetting for people who voted early. Remember, if you voted early and your candidate dropped out, you can’t change your vote.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections said 778,000 people cast early ballots, which was 90,000 more than who voted early in 2016. This does not include mail-in absentee ballots.

In the big races in North Carolina, former State Senator Cal Cunningham, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller, Atul Goel, State Senator Erica Smith and Steve Swenson are the Democrats running for Thom Tillis’ Senate seat.

On the Republican side, it is Larry Holmquist, Sharon Hudson, incumbent Senator Thom Tillis and Paul Wright.

The governor’s race is less crowded -- incumbent Roy Cooper has only one Democratic challenger, Ernest Reeves. For the Republicans, it is current Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest and State Representative Holly Grange.

How many delegates are up for grabs?

There are 1,357 delegates up for grabs with the Super Tuesday primaries, but a candidate needs 1,991 delegates in order to win the nomination.

How many delegates are in North Carolina?

Democrats: 110 Republicans: 71

Poll Times:

In North Carolina, the polls open at 6:30 a.m. and will close at 7:30 p.m.

The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections already rolled out the new voting equipment for Tuesday’s primary election. The “Express Vote System” is still touchscreen, but the machines will print out a piece of paper with a barcode on it.

You will then put that paper in another machine and it will count the barcode. The county moved away from the paper ballots because they were too expensive and determining what the voter intended on mis-marked bubbles can be difficult.

CLICK HERE to watch a demonstration on how to use the new machines.

>>> In this video, Channel 9’s government reporter Joe Bruno was in University City at the Blue NC celebration where two big names were already working hard to reach voters.

Cybersecurity experts worry, however, the new method may not be safe. The County Elections Director Michael Dickerson said his 2,000 precinct workers have been testing the machines for two months to get ready for Super Tuesday.

“Look at the ballot marking device, let them choose who they want and when they’re done, they can guarantee who they voted for and they can run it through the tabulator and they’ll be all set,” Dickerson said.

In addition, voters will not be required to show photo ID for Super Tuesday after a federal district court blocked North Carolina’s voter photo ID requirement from taking effect at the start of the year.

To find more information about your county, visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

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