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You voted early for a candidate who dropped out, now what?

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Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 11:19:32-05

SALT LAKE CITY – In just 48 hours, three Democratic hopefuls dropped out of the Presidential Primary Election, leaving some Utah voters wondering if their vote went to waste ahead of Super Tuesday.

With an initial 28 candidates, the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls was historically large ahead of the 2020 Presidential Primary.

But many early voters were left upset, after three candidates called it quits in just 24-hours -- former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, and former hedge-fund executive Tom Steyer. The three join 20 other Democratic candidate drop outs.

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Photos courtesy The New York Times

“It had to happen,” said Matthew Patterson, the Utah Democratic Party Executive Director, of the candidate drop-outs. “I thought we would see it after Super Tuesday.”

Over 300,000 people in the beehive state have cast their ballot during the early voting period – roughly 20-percent of the population.

“I think it’s just, you know, kind of a gamble… in terms of, ‘will my candidate still be around?’” Patterson continued

Now, some early voters have been left wondering, ‘what happens when the candidate I voted for drops out?’

“Utah is mostly vote by mail and most people sent their ballots in last week,” one Utah voter told FOX 13. “Those who voted for Klobuchar and Buttigieg wasted their votes. If these two would have announced this a week ago people could have voted for a running candidate.”

“There’s some upset people, people who were wanting to know if they could redo their vote again,” Patterson said.

Unfortunately, the answer is no, you can’t ‘redo’ your vote. However, that doesn’t mean a vote was ‘wasted.’

“Those votes will still be counted, and their ballot will be processed,” Patterson said. “If [the candidates who dropped out] qualify with 15-percent [of the vote] within congressional districts, they can still be awarded delegates.”

If a former candidate is awarded delegates, they can release them to other candidates.

Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar announced their endorsements for Democratic Candidate, Joe Biden on Monday.

Polling stations will be open in every county from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Super Tuesday. Voters can also submit mail-in ballots at any official drop-box location, it is too late to mail it.

For more information on voting centers near you, click HERE.