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FL Democrats won’t have a vote in presidential primary in ’24; what about voters in other states?

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FL Democrats won’t have a vote in presidential primary in ’24; what about voters in other states?

Dec 11, 2023 | 3:54 pm ET
By Mitch Perry
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FL Democrats won’t have a vote in presidential primary in ’24; what about voters in other states?
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A U.S. House committee led by Republicans on Thursday night passed an overhaul of U.S. voting laws. (Getty Images)

Unless a federal judge intervenes, registered Democratic Party voters in Florida won’t have a chance to vote for Joe Biden or any of his opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination next year — a development that may happen only in a few other states in 2024.

The Florida Democratic Party has come under fire from some of Biden’s Democratic challengers who say they were unfairly shut out of the process of getting on the March 19 presidential preference primary ballot.

Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips, New Age author Marianne Williamson and “Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur have all publicly denounced their omission from the ballot, and last week a Tampa Democrat filed a federal lawsuit against the party, calling on a judge to place Phillips name on the ballot. By law in Florida, uncontested elections don’t appear on a ballot.

As of Monday afternoon, Florida is one of 12 states where the deadline has now passed for Democratic candidates to qualify for the 2024 presidential primary ballot. But it may be one of the very few states in the country where Democrats won’t get a chance to vote for Biden or one of his opponents for the nomination.

At this point, there are only two other states that have only Biden listed as their Democratic candidate for president: Tennessee and North Carolina.

The State Board of Elections in North Carolina is scheduled to meet next week to consider names to be placed on the ballot. If Biden ends up being the only candidate on the Democratic primary ballot, that contest will still be listed on the Democratic primary ballot with two choices: one for “Joseph R. Biden, Jr,” and one for “No Preference,” a spokesperson for the North Carolina State Board of Elections told the Phoenix.

In Tennessee, Biden was listed in a memo written last week by Secretary of State Tre Hargett as the only Democrat on their March 5, 2024 Democratic presidential primary ballot. Hargett also said in his memo that Phillips could try to qualify for the ballot by collecting signatures, but he told the Phoenix Monday that “the petition did not have 2,500 valid signatures required to appear on the ballot.”

“There will be a primary,” he added – with just Biden on the ballot.

In the other twelve states where the deadline has passed for candidates to appear on the Democratic presidential ballot, this is what it looks like:

Alabama – 2 candidates on the ballot – Biden and Dean Phillips

Arizona – 7 candidates

Arkansas – 6 candidates on the ballot

California – 9 candidates on the ballot.

Colorado – 8 candidates on the ballot.

Maine – 2 candidates – Biden and Dean Phillips.

Michigan – 3 candidates: Biden, Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson.

Nevada — 13 candidates.

Oklahoma — 6 candidates.

South Carolina – 3 candidates

Texas 7 candidates

Utah – 5 candidates

The deadlines will come up later this week in VermontVirginia and Louisiana. Ohio and Massachusetts’s deadlines are next week. The rest of the state’s deadlines to qualify for the Democratic presidential primaries will take place in early 2024.

“It is not uncommon for an incumbent President to be declared the automatic winner of a presidential primary,” a spokesperson for the Florida Democratic Party said in a statement on Monday. “In 2011, Florida Democrats similarly voted unanimously for incumbent President Barack Obama.”

Party officials have also fought back, issuing a press release Monday listing how the process for all candidates would be placed on the primary ballot: It “was made publicly available;” well in advance of the deadline, and simply the “standard process.”

However, Democratic voters have indicated in recent months that they would be open to someone other than Biden running for president.

Two-thirds of Democratic-leaning voters said the party should not nominate Biden for a second term, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS in September. When Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters were asked who the party should nominate as its 2024 presidential candidate, only 33% chose Biden, according to the survey.

UPDATE: On December 12, this story was updated to list the number of Democratic presidential candidates on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado and Texas.