What Are Rhode Island’s Republican Delegate Rules?

shutterstock_191468042With the Republican National Convention approaching, the specter of a brokered convention looms like a mysterious cloud over the Presidential race. There’s been a lot of talk over not just which candidate will have the most delegates beforehand, but if and how each state’s delegates could change sides. Here’s a rundown of the rules for Rhode Island, and how it impacts the overall situation.

April 26, 2016 Oregon Presidential Primary Results:

How many delegates are there? 19 delegates

Who are they? Delegates are typically active party members or local leaders. Each state also has three (3) delegates who are members of the Republican National Committee (RNC)

How are delegates chosen? In Rhode Island, three (3) congressional district delegates are directly elected in each of the state’s two congressional districts on primary day. Congressional district delegates appear along with the name of their presidential candidate preference. The state’s ten (10) at-large delegates are also directly elected on primary day. Three (3) delegates also serve as members of the RNC.

How are delegates allocated? In Rhode Island, delegates are awarded on a proportional basis. Congressional district delegates are awarded proportionally to candidates that receive at least 10% of the vote in a congressional district – if a candidate receives 67% of the popular vote in a district they are guaranteed at least two (2) delegates. The thirteen (13) statewide delegates are also allocated on a proportional basis to candidates receiving 10% of the statewide popular vote.

At what point can delegates switch candidates? In Rhode Island, all delegates are bound to their candidate on the first ballot only, unless the candidate releases them before that time.

What effect could this have on the convention? TBD.

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