Reason we call them races
June 14, 2012
While waiting for results on Tuesday night, we tried our hand at brainstorming a little election reform.
We could have selected a presidential nominee in July for all the good the First in the West caucus did the state. And as we’ve mentioned many times in the past, caucuses don’t improve in popularity as people experience them.
But they’re cheap and the parties pay for them. Why should the taxpayers foot the bill so a political party can pick their candidate?
So on Tuesday, while we’re watching less than a third of the active voters in the county (a smaller percentage if you count anyone who could cast a ballot) we wonder why not have the presidential race on the ballot?
Douglas County primary races were determined by slightly more than a fifth of the electorate. Tuesday’s saw the lowest turnout since Nevada moved the primaries away from September in 2006. One of the arguments for moving the primary to June was to improve turnout, not something that’s happened here, at least.
In neighboring Alpine County, nearly 59 percent of the electorate participated in the election. They had lots of people turn out and lots of people on the ballot.
Elections are just like television shows, movies or football games – if you want people to tune in you have to bring some drama.
And the way to do that is to give folks something to root for.