Political Education

Problems with Primaries and Cacuses​

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In the United States, the system that elects our elected officials is known as “first past the post.” This means that whichever candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes wins the election. Now because of this “first past the post” voting system the United State’s voting system isn’t set up well to deal with multiple candidates for the same office. This is why there are primaries and caucuses.

Primaries and caucuses are two different things but have the same goal, choosing who your state will give its votes to during the primary election to choose its major party candidate. Primaries and caucuses seem useless and boring because whoever wins the primary doesn’t necessarily become president or whatever elected office they are running for. Who wants to take their time out of their busy schedule to vote for a candidate?

Well, you should. Do you ever consider why most of the interesting candidates are pushed out early and that usually the candidate ends up being a part of the party establishment or stupidly charismatic with one particular sect of their party? It’s because the candidates that win their primaries are not brought in by the entire party. Democrats are notorious for only voting for the president but then complaining because the candidates are subpar.

Party loyalty isn’t strong with young people. We are in a world now where young people feel more engaged and informed from their phone or computer screens, yet most don’t actually do anything. Rather than marching against something the country needs people to vote. Because the largest section of people who vote during primaries or caucuses are baby-boomers.

If you feel as though you have no connection to the candidates during the primary election, maybe you should take the time and go vote during the primaries or stand for your caucus. At the end of the day, the United States would need to change its entire election system for third parties or alternative candidates to be taken seriously. Since I do not see that happening anytime soon, we need to encourage more people to vote and pay attention to these primaries. I truly do not want to be staring at a general election of having to choose between one white guy in his 70s vs another white guy in his 70s. But this is what we will have if we do not all get out and vote in the primaries. Please make sure you are registered and if necessary pick a party, there are no cool points for being an independent in this system.

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