Caucus system has its flaws

On Saturday morning, as many as 5,000 Douglas County Democrats and Republicans will gather to cast ballots for their party's nominee for president.

On the Republican side, a straw poll will allow rank and file to let the party know their preference.

For Democrats, candidates for the nomination will actually be gathering delegates toward the big prize of their party's nomination.

We agree with those critics who say the caucus is far more complicated than an election and that it does limit people's ability to participate in the selection of a nominee.

But there is no arguing with those who point out the real difference between a caucus and an election is who pays for it.

The selection of a presidential nominee is not public business, it's party business and therefore the party should pay for it. Why should Nevada's independent voters have to pay for a primary election to benefit the two parties? Would minor parties be able to get on the primary ballot, too?

The options Nevada faces are either to have three elections, a presidential primary, a primary and a general election or to combine the two primaries early in the campaign season. That means candidates for other offices would have to start filing seven months earlier than they do now.

Nevada has tried primary elections and learned the lesson that the caucus, while flawed, has been the better system.


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