The Primary Question

by Melissa Brunner

While we get ready for a round of municipal elections in a couple weeks, we're reminded that the 2012 Presidential election really isn't all that far away. But tight budgets mean a part of the process could be missing for voters in some states.

A Reuters article posted on Yahoo! Monday says at least six states are considering canceling or delaying their Presidential primaries to ease budget constraints. Washington and Massachusetts both are considering skipping the primary altogether. Missouri, Alabama and California all are talking about delaying their primaries so they can combine them with state and local primaries to save money.

The article also mentions Kansas as a state considering skipping a Presidential primary. In fact, Kansas hasn't held one since 1992. Then-Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh tried to revive it during the 2007 legislative session, lobbying to include funding for a 2008 GOP Presidential field that would include then-Sen. Sam Brownback. The idea picked up steam before budget constraints convinced the majority that the $2 million it would cost could be better spent elsewhere. Kansas returned to the practice of holding Presidential caucuses - basically, big public meetings where you show up and say who you support.

What do you think? Are Presidential primaries necessary to choose the party's nominees? Does the Presidential primary system itself need to be fixed so that everyone's vote matters? The concern among states considering delaying their primaries is that, by the time they vote, the decision will be made.

Let me know what you think. 

Reuters article on Yahoo! about budgets & primaries: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/pl_nm/us_primaries

 

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