News & Politics

Why Martin O’ Malley Is on the Ballot in the Virginia Primary

You can vote for this guy in Virginia if you want. Photo via iStock.

If you’re a Democrat in Virginia who doesn’t like the choice between Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, there’s a third option you can consider in Tuesday’s primary election: former Maryland governor and doomed-from-the-start presidential candidate Martin O’Malley. O’Malley officially suspended his campaign back in February after receiving support from less than 1 percent of Iowa caucus-goers, but he’s still an option on the Virginia ballot.

O’Malley’s inclusion does not signal he’s making another run at the presidency, though. The Virginia Department of Elections prints its ballots in in January, at which point he was still in the race. The department does give candidates of terminated campaigns the opportunity to get their names printed on a “Notice to Voters,” reminding people who is still in the race and who isn’t. But only Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Lindsay Graham, and Rick Santorum appear on that notice, which means that registered Virginia voters can select O’Malley or Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, or even former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, all of whom have effectively left the race.

“We can only give notice of candidates who have officially contacted us and told us they were withdrawing,” says Martin Mash, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Elections.

No word on whether anyone has voted for the former governor yet.