DemDaily: Tuesday’s Election Results! CT, DE, NY, RI, WI

April 13, 2024

Presumptive party nominees President Joe Biden (D) and former President Donald Trump (R) swept their respective presidential primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Although the two adversaries surpassed their respective party delegate thresholds to reach the nomination after the March 5 Super Tuesday primaries, they are now focused on firing up their base in an increasingly contentious campaign as they move through the remaining primary calendar.

Democrats have held primaries or caucuses in 38 states or territories with Biden securing 3,041 delegates, Uncommitted 26, and 3 for others. The GOP has held primaries in 43 states or territories with Trump securing 1,861 delegates, Haley 94, and 12 for others.

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Uncommitted
There has been an organized effort in a number of states to vote for "uncommitted" or a similar option on the ballot in protest of the Biden Administration's diplomatic and financial support for Benjamin Netanyahu's government in the Israeli-Gaza war. Uncommitted votes were high enough in Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington to earn party delegates for the DNC in August.

45,000, or 8.3%, of Wisconsin Democratic primary voters chose "uninstructed" yesterday; similarly, 11% of Connecticut's and 14% of Rhode Island's Democratic voters cast "uncommitted" ballots. In New York, which has no "uncommitted" option or comparable alternative, organizers urged voters to leave the presidential section of their ballot blank, with the results not expected for weeks.

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Wisconsin voters have approved two legislatively referred, Republican-backed State Constitutional amendments that will change how elections are run in the critical battleground state.

Opponents say the measures are born out of Trump's unfounded conspiracy theories about election fraud in the 2020 presidential election -- an allegation he has repeated as recently as yesterday at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Both amendments were created as obstacles to aspects of election administration this fall in Wisconsin, which . Biden flipped by less than 1% four years ago, and which could decide the outcome of the presidential election and the balance of power in the US Senate. Wisconsin's past two presidential elections were both decided by fewer than 23,000 votes.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 27 other states have moved to “prohibit, limit or regulate the use of private or philanthropic funding to run elections” since the 2020 election.

Question 1: Prohibition on Non-Governmental Funding of Elections Amendment
Voters decided 54.42%-45.58% to amend Article III of the State Constitution, forbidding officials from accepting private donations or grants to help run election administration.

The amendment is part of a GOP backlash to "dark money" 2020 donations made to local election offices by nonprofit groups, including the Center for Tech and Civic Life -- funded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan -- which donated $10 million available to officials in Wisconsin that year. The funds were used to help recruit and train poll workers, buy COVID-protective equipment, and defray other costs.

With avenues for additional funding restricted, and with the refusal of the GOP legislature to fully fund election administration, the funding ban lleaves election clerks across Wisconsin without critical resources.

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The amendment is also a successful effort to outmaneuver Democratic Governor Tony Evers who vetoed a bill in 2021 that would have banned private grants for elections.

Question 2:  Only Designated Election Officials to Conduct Elections Amendment
By 58.6% to 41.1%, voters approved an amendment to Article III of the State Constitution to say that "only election officials designated by law may perform tasks in the conduct of primaries, elections, and referendum."

The amendment narrows the role and definition of an election worker, and limits who can volunteer at the polls. Despite a highly publicized review into the 2020 election by Trump allies in the state, accusations against election workers and widespread voter fraud ultimately revealed no evidence of wrongdoing.

Next Up! March 23: Louisiana Primaries and Missouri Democratic Presidential Primary See: The DemList Presidential Primary Calendar

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott
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Sources: AP, Washington Post, NBC, Reuters. WPR

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