On March 1, Massachusetts voters will go to the polls in the presidential primary election on what is commonly known as Super Tuesday, when voters in 11 states will nominate presidential candidates, and possibly begin to clarify the field as poorly performing candidates give up the race.
Martha’s Vineyard has traditionally been a Democratic stronghold of votes — Democrats greatly outnumbered Republicans in the 2008 presidential primary election — and in the summer months, the Vineyard is a fundraising mecca.
Hillary Clinton, a frequent summer visitor, attended a fundraiser last August at the home of businessman Frank Biondi. Prior to his election, and since, President Barack Obama, who has visited the Vineyard every year of his presidency but one, has been able to count on strong support among Islanders.
In 2008, of the Island’s 12,067 registered voters, 4,958 cast a ballot in the Democratic primary, compared with 1,316 on the Republican side.
Then as now, Hillary Clinton entered the 2008 presidential primary season with strong support and a sense that the nomination was hers to lose, only to face a strong challenge from then Senator Barack Obama.
In 2008, Senator Obama beat Senator Clinton by 15 percentage points, 2,877 to 1,968 on Martha’s Vineyard.
In 2016, Ms. Clinton will face off against Senator Bernie Sanders. The Vineyard vote may reflect the larger trend among the Democratic establishment.
In 2008, Republican voters on Martha’s Vineyard chose former Governor Mitt Romney (613) over Senator John McCain (552).
In 2016, they will choose from among five candidates: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and John Kasich.
The polls will open at 7 am and close at 8 pm across the Island and the state.
There are three primary ballots: Democratic, Republican, and Green-Rainbow. Voters registered as a member of a particular party may only vote in that party’s primary. For example, Democrats may only vote in the Democratic primary.
Unenrolled voters, the majority of those registered, get to choose which ballot they will take.
The Democratic primary ballot reflects the attrition of the primary process. The four listed candidates are: Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Hillary Clinton, and Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente.
Of those, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders remain in the race.
The Republican ballot lists 13 candidates: Jim Gilmore, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and John R. Kasich.
Of those, only Mr. Trump, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Carson, Mr. Rubio and Mr. Kasich remain in the race.
There are candidates on the Green-Rainbow ballot, which garnered 12 Island votes in the 2008 election.
The Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland July 18-21. If no candidate is able to win a majority of delegates — 1,236 — then the delegates attending the convention will chose the nominee and vice presidential nominee.
The Democratic National Convention will be held in Philadelphia from July 25-28.
A state committee man and a committee woman will be on the ballot, as well as candidates for town committee. The state committee of each party includes one man and one woman from each of the 40 state senatorial districts in Massachusetts. They are elected at the presidential primary election for a four-year term.
Members of town committees represent their party at the local level.
Some ballots will have the option of voting for a group, i.e., the entire town committee slate. If the voter chooses this option, he or she must not choose an individual as well in that group, or both votes will be nullified.
Town voting locations
Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.
Aquinnah Old Town Hall; Chilmark Community Center; West Tisbury Public Safety Building; Tisbury Public Safety Facility; Oak Bluffs Public Library meeting room; Edgartown Town Hall meeting room.