by Lexi Kupor
As we near the decisive November presidential election, the talk of politics and candidacy seems to infiltrate nearly all classroom and social discussions. Mixed within the interminable debates on economic policy, health insurance, and foreign relations lies the excitement of primary elections.
Nearly every week throughout March to mid-April, the buzz arises as political fanatics desperately await the results from the newest state primaries. Despite the excitement and anticipation this extensive process may foment, it presents a myriad of issues to the fidelity and fulfillment of this core democratic process. Should America’s voting system wish to remain truly accurate, precise, and just to each voter and candidate, all states must hold their primary votes simultaneously.
The current Democratic primary schedule severely skews the voting choices of citizens of states holding their primaries later in the process. As reporters speculate ostensible frontrunners based on the results of states farther up in line, supporters of less successful candidates begin to lose hope. Consequently, the latter individuals often choose to change their voting preferences in order to support candidates whom they believe have a greater potential to triumph nationwide.
This phenomenon is neither effective nor factually supported; not only do the first few states to vote represent only miniscule portions of national public opinion trends, but their varied racial, religious, and age-based demographics fail to create an accurate sample encompassing the complex identity of America. These realities are likewise ignored by the media, as less popular candidates are prematurely defined as failed causes, and their adversaries conversely granted disproportionate public attention, popularity, and fiscal support, when, ironically, it is the others that most require it. As a result, candidates lose devoted supporters after unpromising proportions of support early on, when there remains a lack of statistics and poll results to support these conclusions.
Additionally, early primary results can fail to be reliable sources of data when immense anticipation and expectations put stress on often citizen-run, untested voting systems. By replacing individual state primary dates with one nationwide event, voters have no possibility of basing their decisions on premature, often inaccurate, results, and vote collection is much more likely to be factual, efficient, and precise when the pressing anticipation and public attention is not placed on one state’s voting process.
Our nation’s primary votes serve as the basis for our democracy, and yet, along with the public exhilaration and eagerness the system evokes, it ultimately diminishes the integrity of our people’s republic. A uniform primary date is essential to reinstate justice and accuracy as each individual prepares to fulfill his or her civic duty as a citizen of the United States.