Not so “Super” for me!

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Today is a sad day for me. While thousands of my fellow New Yorkers will participate in the process of selecting their candidate of choice, I can’t join in the fun. You see, I am registered as an “Independent.” And as such, I am excluded from participating in the primary election in my state. This is called a “closed” primary.

Many other states have what is called an “open” primary. In open primaries, voters can vote for candidates from either party. There are drawbacks to this, but at least it allows moderates and independents to participate in the selection process. (Personally, I like New Hampshire’s system the best.) Allowing moderates and independents to participate is – in my opinion – good for Democracy, as the archaic alternative does little but encourage staunch partisanship. The rest of us get to choose between “the lesser of two evils” after the candidates are selected for us.

Now, I could have switched my affiliation in advance and been able to vote for the candidate of my choice. And being the conscientious voter that I am, I actually looked into this possibility. The problem is, I had to change my affiliation back in October – nearly five months ago. At that time I was torn between candidates from opposite parties. Once I finally made up my mind and contacted my local board of elections to change my affiliation, I learned that I was too late. By about three months. (Think of how much things had changed during those three months!)

That being said,I hope the rest of you exercised your right to select a candidate and voted in your primary elections today (if your state had them). I’m at your mercy.

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7 thoughts on “Not so “Super” for me!

  1. …Alabama has an open primary. So I voted for you 😉

    I had no idea I was on the ballot in Alabama. Go figure!

    The other thing that’s annoying is that there is a great deal of confusion about parties. For example. I am registered as an “Independent,” but there is also an “Independence Party.” I’m sure some have been confused by that on more than one occasion.

    Same goes for people who may have registered as a “Conservative,” thinking that they were declaring their ideology rather than registering with the “Conservative Party.”

    Ah well…

  2. not being able to vote is a small price to pay for the peace of mind i get from not settling for being a republicrat.

    ok, the truth is i want to go vote for obama but i can’t b/c i’m independent. so now i’m just trying to make myself feel better 🙂

  3. I voted at around 8:00 and was one of less than 100 people who voted in my district (regardless of party). Is everyone in New York State independent/other…or was everyone too busy watching house?

    I don’t have an issue with closed primaries, it seems reasonable/proper that the republicans (or democrats) decide their own candidate. What is crazy is the decision to have Iowa and New Hampshire set the tone for the entire primary process.

  4. I don’t have an issue with closed primaries, it seems reasonable/proper that the republicans (or democrats) decide their own candidate.

    That’s a fair argument. On the other hand, there seems to be something inherently flawed about a system that marginalizes moderate and independent voters during the process of selecting a candidate.

    I can live with it, because I can always change my affiliation for whatever reason at any time (provided it’s like six months in advance of the primaries in NY) and vote for whomever I want.

    But then that even seems to make the whole selection process a bit less legitimate. So then I have to ask, what’s the point of having a closed primary then?

    I don’t have a better solution.

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