This article was orginally published on March 5,2008
In September 2007, the Democratic National Party stripped Michigan and Florida of its convention delegates because officials moved up the date of their primaries. This move was made due to feelings of insignificance in comparison to states that hold earlier primaries. In this year’s tight race, Michigan and Florida’s delegates could have been a deciding factor. 24 states, including Alabama, moved their primaries to February. Why did they decide to do this? The answer comes from the influential voting power in these states. Why is it that the states of Iowa and New Hampshire every four years get the privilege of being the first to select from the crop of candidates who might become president?
No offense to those states, but needs and issues in those states are drastically different according to region. If the powers to be wanted to be all symbolic in showing the values of America why not hold the first presidential primary in Jamestown, Va.? After all that is where the first US colony was established.
On another note I find it quite annoying that presidential candidates, when campaigning across the state make one stop in a city in one state and spend a majority of their time in a larger delegate rich-state to appeal to those individuals for their vote. I feel as a voting citizen that my vote is just as important as a voter in California or Texas.
With that said, if the process of selecting the President of the United States was on a region-by-region basis such as the northeast/southeast/midwest/southwest/Pacific coast instead of the current system that is in place now, it would be a more efficient and equal system. The way that it would work is that one region of the country would hold their primaries or caucuses on a certain date. Thus this would shorten the time of selecting the presidential nominee of each respective political party.
Prior to that election the candidates would be forced to hold a large debate concerning the issues of that particular region of the country. If such a system were implemented, candidates would be forced to spend more time and advertising dollars to campaign in not only larger delegate states but also smaller delegate states. Just maybe the candidates would then focus more on the issues and concerns of the American people.
Most likely changes in the electoral system of selecting the President of the United States are not going to occur anytime soon, but it would be quite nice if the powers to be would read the hints from what has occurred in this election and when 2012 comes around be more prepared since Americans do want something different and efficient from their leaders now more than ever.