This is an explanation of how Maine’s 24 pledged national delegate slots are distributed amongst presidential candidates based on the presidential primary results.

On March 3, 2020, Democrats across Maine will go to their polling places and vote for their preferred presidential candidate. Candidates must earn at least 15% of the vote in order to earn national delegate slots. There are three geographic sets of results in which candidates can earn delegates:

1st Congressional District: 9 delegates
2nd Congressional District: 7 delegates
Statewide: 8 delegates

The Statewide delegates are further broken down into two categories: 5 At-large delegate slots, and 3 PLEO delegate slots. PLEO stands for “Party Leaders and Elected Officials,” and as the name implies, these delegate slots are reserved for elected Democratic officials.

Here’s a simplified example of how this works, using imaginary 1st Congressional District voting results, and the 9 First Congressional District delegate slots:

Moxie: 33.6%
Blueberry: 28.1%
Lobster: 16.5%
Maple Syrup: 14.2%
Whoopie Pie: 4.1%
Apple: 2.2%
Red Snapper: 1.3%

Only three, Moxie, Blueberry and Lobster, have met the 15% threshold. But how do we distribute those 9 delegate slots amongst them? We can’t use their current vote percentages, because they only add up to 78.2%, which means some delegates wouldn’t be distributed. We need to adjust their percentages so that they add up to 100%. We do that by dividing their current vote percentage by 78.2, which yields the following results:

Moxie: 33.6/78.2 = 43%
Blueberry: 28.1/78.2 = 35.9%
Lobster: 16.5/78.2 = 21.1%
  78.2% 100%

We then multiply the number of delegates being distributed (9) by the decimal form of the percentages and round down to get an initial result:

Moxie: .43 x 9 = 3.87 = 3 delegates
Blueberry: .359 x 9 = 3.23 = 3 delegates
Lobster: .211 x 9 = 1.89 = 1 delegate
      7 delegates

But there are still 2 delegates left to distribute. In order to distribute them, we compare the remainders and distribute delegates in order from highest to lowest, until all delegates are distributed. In this case, Lobster has the highest remainder at .89, and Moxie has the next highest at .87. The final delegate count looks like this:

Moxie: 4 delegates
Blueberry: 3 delegates
Lobster: 2 delegates
  9 delegates

This process is repeated for the 2nd Congressional District, Statewide, and PLEO delegate categories, using the voting results and number of delegates for each of those categories. All candidates who earn national delegates will also be entitled to one alternate.