MN: Caucus System Sinks Participation, Paper Argues
By Christopher Lee
Minnesota's biggest newspaper is no fan of the parties' presidential caucuses, arguing in an editorial tonight that the state should have a presidential primary instead.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the window for caucus voting, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., is too narrow, arguing that more people could participate under the all-day balloting that a primary would offer. Some voters mistakenly turned up at their usual polling places today, expecting to vote in a primary -- an illustration, the paper said, that Minnesotans are eager to have their say this year.
The Strib, as it's known, also dismissed the nonbinding Republican vote as "a beauty contest" that leaves the state's GOP voters out of the national mix in selecting their party's nominee.
"Perhaps the most antidemocratic feature of the caucus system, though, is that it strips away the privacy of the voting booth," the editorial said. "To one degree or another, participants must reveal their political leanings to their neighbors. In many communities, that can be a deterrent -- for clergy, for schoolteachers, for retailers and many others."
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