By OB Joe / OB Rag
You know it. I’m a California Primary voter and I’m pretty pissed off!
The Primary is already over – and I haven’t even voted yet. And neither have my fellow 8 million California voters.
The candidates have been selected – yet, the largest state in the Union has not spoken.
Oh, I know, there are some who still think Bernie can get the nomination – but the real math is not there – and I’m a Bernie supporter! I observed an MSNBC breakdown of the numbers – and Sanders would have to score REAL big in all the remaining primaries – short of a miracle – it will be Hillary Clinton for the Democrats.
I really wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialist – and I was among the 13,000 San Diegans who came out to support him when he was in town not too long ago. But by now, it’s been decided.
I feel totally disenfranchised and disheartened. Our California votes just don’t count. And neither do the votes in the other 4 states that have their Primaries on June 7th: New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Montana.
Except for the candidates and propositions on the down-ballot, the Presidential Primary is a futile exercise.
It simply is just not fair. California has 39 million inhabitants. It has the 5th largest economy in the world. Yet – on the issue of who gets the different political party nominations for President – California does not count.
The entire primary system is screwed up.
We have enough problems getting people out to vote. Without them now feeling disenfranchised.
I figure close to 8 million Californians will or could vote on June 7th. If we look at the last California Presidential Primary in June 2012 – 5,328,000 people voted, a dismal 31.1% of registered voters.
Okay, so there wasn’t too much competition on the Presidential level. So, let’s look at the California Primary of 2008. In that vote, 9,058,000 Californians voted – the largest popular vote in the state’s history. Again, however, that represented only 58% of registered voters, and clearly wasn’t the highest percentage-wise. That was in the 1980 Primary, when over 63% of registered voters did the ballot thing.
Another contested Presidential year was in 2000, when 7,883,000 Californians voted in the Primary (54% of registered voters).
By the way, that 2000 Primary was held in March, and the 2008 Primary vote was in early February.
The current California primary is just too damn late in the season. June is not soon enough – if we keep the current system.
Our state had primaries during the month of March in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2008. Why can’t we do that again?
Again, the entire national primary system needs to be reformed. And the election cycle is just too crazy long. Other countries have only a few months of electioneering – or even just a few weeks.
Why not have one month of primaries, where every Tuesday a quarter of the states vote?
The Presidential Primary and Election cycle is when we’re supposed to renew our flailing democracy, but when millions of voters are disenfranchised by the very Primary system that is supposed to help sow those seeds of democracy, then the entire Voting Structure continues to break down.