COMMENTARY | With the current primary season underway and having been through a caucus in Iowa and a primary in New Hampshire, it is time to reconsider how these candidates are vetted. Both of these are sparsely populated states that do not represent the larger, dynamic American society.
Allowing The States With The Highest Voter Turnout Is a Great Option
Since our Constitution guarantees the right to vote to any citizen, whether native-born or naturalized, it makes sense to let those who are most interested in voting have the first choice. That is not to say that Iowa and New Hampshire are not engaged citizens, however, they have undue influence because of tradition. They maybe more engaged solely because the tradition of having the first two chances to choose may cause their electorate to take more interest and participate.
To get the best results, I think the states where the electorate is most engaged ought to get the first opportunities to decide. It can be based on the previous presidential election’s turnout, where the metric that the parties can use is the percentage of a state’s voters who vote against the total percentage of registered voters. The negative of doing that is that the previous election’s turnout may be driven by the candidates. If large states had a party’s nominee represent their state, such as Texas or California, it would tilt the turnout because a popular politician will drive more voters to the polls. That politician may not even run in the current primary.
If That Does Not Work, How About A Lottery?
The other way I believe is best is to have a random-draw lottery. It will be no different than any variety of drawings that occur nightly in most states where people pool money into trying to win prizes.
My simple idea would be for each major political party to set for the first Tuesday after the first Monday between March through July, totaling 5 Tuesdays through the spring and summer of the year of the presidency. Draw one at a time for each month until all 50 are assigned. For instance, the first state would be in March, along with the sixth and eleventh. This would work until each of the dates has 10 states voting the same day. It would mimic a smaller presidential election, where each state’s voters will have different issues that drive them to the polls.