- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Nearly 100,000 people who voted in Arizona’s presidential primary cast their ballots for candidates who are no longer seeking their party’s nomination.

More than 70,000 of them voted for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign March 15, the Arizona Capitol Times reported (http://bit.ly/1PvaihA). Ben Carson, who dropped out March 4, received 14,000 votes.

Many of the votes likely were cast early by mail, before many candidates withdrew from the race, officials said. Early ballots were sent to voters across Arizona in late February.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush netted more 4,000 votes despite ending his campaign Feb. 20, before early ballots were mailed.

Once a presidential candidate files paperwork to appear on Arizona’s primary ballot, there is no way to remove them, even if they leave the race, said Matt Roberts, spokesman for Secretary of State Michele Reagan.

“Every person who qualifies for the ballot is on the ballot,” he said.

Ten candidates appeared on Arizona’s primary ballots, and even those who dropped out months ago received a handful of votes. Among the other results:

- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul received more than 2,000 votes after announcing he was suspending his campaign Feb. 3.

- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee got more than 1,100 votes. He ended his campaign Feb 1.

- Carly Fiorina received 1,100 votes after dropping out Feb. 10.

- Lindsey Graham left the race Dec. 21 and still garnered almost 500 votes.

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Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, http://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com

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