It's time for state to review primary process
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 11:00 AM
Today is primary election day in Indiana.
If this year's primary is like most in the past, turnout will be low.
Jefferson County might see a bump in the turnout because of the Madison Consolidated Schools referendum. We'll be curious to see how many voters went to the polls only to vote on the referendum.
It's time for the state to take a look at how we select candidates for the general election.
Indiana inhibits participation by forcing individuals to publicly pick a party for which to cast a ballot. And not any party, only Republican or Democrat.
Further, the law states if you pick a party's ballot, you must intend to vote for a majority of the candidates from that party in the general election.
That's ludicrous and unenforceable. So much for a ballot in which voters can simply vote for people, not parties.
A story in the Bloomington Herald-Times last week noted several different kinds of primary elections. The more open the primary, the higher the turnout.
Indiana's isn't the least open, in that voters don't have to be registered with one party or another before election day. They only have to declare their intention at the polling place.
Some suggest that political caucuses or conventions, funded by the parties instead of taxpayers, might be a better way to choose who's going to run in general elections.
That, however, might exclude some from running for office - and we can only image the back-room shenanigans that might occur.
While a discussion about the system is needed, we hope everyone exercises their right today to participate in the process we have now.