Confusion on Ohio GOP primary ballot; what you need to know

Dan DeRoos breaks down the ballot confusion
Published: Mar. 7, 2016 at 11:38 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2016 at 3:15 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland 19 is looking into some confusion on the Republican Primary ballot that will be used next Tuesday to try and determine who gets Ohio's 66 delegates.

The confusion seems to stem from the fact the Ohio GOP leadership decided late in the process to become a "winner-take-all" state for the delegate, instead of dividing them up based on each candidate's performance on Election Day.

So here's the problem, on the Republican ballot there are two sections to vote for a nominee. In the first ballot question, voters are asked "For Delegates-at-Large and Alternates-at-Large to the National Convention."

That is followed by the list of candidates. (Adding to the confusion is seeing names like Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum. Because those candidates d ropped out after the ballot was prepared their names stay on the ballots.

But the real confusion comes in with a second ballot question. This time it reads "For District Delegates and District Alternative to the National Convention." Again all the candidate's names are listed for you to vote on. But wait, why is there a second ballot question and a second chance to vote for a nominee? Which column is counted? Which one will determine the winner?

We pressed hard for answers first from the Cuyahoga County Board of elections and we were told, they don't know why? We then started questioning the Ohio Secretary of State office. They are saying it's because of the late change. But here's the kicker, we were told by the SSO that the GOP leadership will get to choose which ballot result will determine the winner.

So what do you need to know when voting?

We talked with Brittney Warner, Communications Director with the Ohio Republican Party. She said they suggest voters to select their favorite candidate and fill in the bubble in both at the large and district columns. However, only the top column will count the delegates at-large column.

If you chose two different candidates, only the delegates at large column will count.

To us this opens the door for a questionable decision. What if one candidate win the told ballot question, and a second candidate wins the second question? What if the GOP leadership has an agenda for one candidate over another?

We are also trying to get questions to the candidates themselves to see how they feel the confusion could impact their chances.

Here is a sample of what the Republican primary ballot looks like:

MORE: Ohio primary ballot information 

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