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Reform presidential primary process

TimesLedger Newspapers

Now that the presidential election has passed, it is time to re-examine how we choose our candidates for the highest office in our country. I believe we should consider changes in our presidential primary system.

The way things are done now, the states that conduct their primaries and caucuses early get the most attention. Often the nominee is chosen by the time we reach the middle of the primary process, if not before. Those states conducting their votes at the end of the primary do so in vain because a candidate nails down enough delegate votes to secure the nomination before the primary process across the country is completed.

Since the selection of presidential candidates is a nationwide matter, we should have a national presidential primary on one date, perhaps in the late spring of a presidential year. This way, all votes will be important throughout the country. Since the presidential contest is a federal election, the rules of who should be allowed to vote in such an election should be uniform.

In some states there is an open primary, while in others, like New York, only people enrolled in a particular party are allowed to vote in that party’s primary.

Also, states should hold their other state and local primaries on the same date. In 2012, New York had three primary dates, which cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

All political parties with a nationwide following should hold their primaries on a national presidential primary day. Voters should not be limited to choosing between just two candidates from the major parties.

After the primary and convention process is over and a candidate and his or her running mate is selected, we usually have a series of debates before the November election. Yet those debates are almost always limited to the Democratic and Republican nominees.

All candidates who are able to get on the ballot in a majority of states should take part in those debates. In 2012, Green Party candidate Jill Stein was not allowed to participate in the presidential debates.

As we move forward, there should be reforms undertaken so the American electorate has many choices of candidates to select from to hold the most important office in our country. We should also make the voting process easier and more efficient to accommodate the electorate in selecting political leaders.

Henry Euler


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