Reading about the New Hampshire primary this morning, I can’t help but feel envious of the voters who get to decide on our next presidential candidates. The final two candidates will be selected long before the North Carolina primary rolls around in May. Simply put, my vote doesn’t count. For this reason, I haven’t been following any of the debates or gotten behind any of the candidates. I am refusing to become emotionally committed when I have no say in the outcome.
Regardless of my ambivalent feelings toward this election cycle, I’m glad there was no clear winner after yesterday. I want the primary vetting process to run its course and not have the outcome be decided by voters in two or three states.
It’s tempting to say that the solution is to speed up the process, move our primary election date up to be one of the early voting states. Several states did just that, which is why ‘Super Tuesday’ now has 22 states voting on February 5th; a significant increase from the 10 state that voted on that day in 2004. Florida and Michigan were so anxious to gain influence that they moved their primaries up to January (and as a result have been stripped of their Democratic Party delegates by the DNC). It’s easy to see how process gets out of hand.
I would like to propose a different solution, one that would make every state primary important. Instead of announcing primary winners on Election Day, let’s have a sealed ballot process where votes are cast between January and June but the results are not tallied or announced until the party conventions. With a secret ballot system, results in Iowa and New Hampshire would not have any influence on the votes cast in North Carolina. (Like in elementary school when you had to put your head down on the desk before you voted). Candidates would have as much to win or lose in this state as they do in any other. I would never again vote for a candidate who had already ‘lost’ by the delegate count; my vote would be more than a token gesture.
So what do you think of my idea?