“Vote!” (by kristin_a Meringue Bake Shop is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Abolish the Caucus (At the Moment with Billy Mykel)

February 7, 2020

Following much anticipation and build up for the start of the primary elections, the Iowa Caucus turned into a disappointment of momentous status. With both Democrats and Republicans following what is the closest primary election in recent history, that will decide not only the outcome of the 2020 election but also the future of the Democratic party, the entire nation held its breath to see the first round of voter response, only for the Iowa Democratic party to delay the results and admit fault in voter counting. These events have not only brought the inefficiency of the Iowa Caucus into the national spotlight, but also showcased the massive deficits of the Caucus system itself.

The Iowa Caucus, and Caucus systems across the country, should be replaced with voter based primary elections.

The biggest reason to replace the Caucus is the great inefficiency that comes with the system. This method of choosing the candidates for a specific party not only involves hundreds of isolated officials taking headcounts in order to determine the amount of public support for each candidate, but also involves a second tally with supporters for underperforming campaigns switching sides on massive scales, creating not only large amounts of unnecessary complexity but also greatly harming the result accuracy. The system also requires voters to travel to a physical location and spend a full day there. This not only makes it more difficult for the elderly and disabled individuals to voice their opinions for their party, but it also prioritizes the voices of those who can afford to take a full day off of work or away from families in order to participate, greatly limiting the ability of poor and single parent families to express their political voice. These issues are so severe that even technology designed to counter these issues, including the now infamous Democratic Caucus app, have only further shown the necessity of modernizing this out-of-date system. 

Another good reason to begin abolishing the Caucus system comes from the very popular alternative, the primary vote. The primary vote system follows the outline of a normal election, with the state population placing a ballot vote for the candidate of their choice, with some states even opting for a ranked vote, that way if a candidate does not get enough votes, their supporters can choose a second favorite. Not only does this system move far more efficiently and accurately, following normal election means and not involving head counts and overly complex logistics, but it also allows people without the time, money, or ability to go to a physical location to vote in the primary. Beyond just this, the primary vote system is also not a new idea. As of now, only four states use the Caucus system, including Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota, and Wyoming, with the rest of the nation using this system. What this means is that the switch to this far more effective system would not necessitate large scale changes across the nation. 

In light of the hardships of the Caucus system and the necessity of maintaining the highest standards for our election process, the United States should completely abolish the outdated Caucus system and replace it with more effective alternatives.



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