I’m an independent voter, and because of that, I’ve never voted in a primary election in New York, where I live. I would have broken that string this year because I feel it is so important that we have a good choice of candidates this November.
Well, not for the first time in my life, sloth got in the way of good intentions. I went online to get the registration procedure this morning only to discover that, although I’m already registered to vote in general elections, I would have had to have registered for the primaries no later than January 11th..
This is just undemocratic. First, why 25 days before the election? It’s totally arbitrary -- a tool for the established parties to maintain power. Second, the election may be only 20 days away but it is still a real horse race in both parties, therefore, I’m not sure in which primary I’d have liked to have voted.
I want my vote to be valuable, so if on February 5, for example, Mrs. Clinton had a solid lead in the Democratic race while the Republican contest was close, I’d have preferred to have voted in the latter, to make a difference.
Another, perhaps fanciful, example might have been if McCain had a clear lead in the Republican field while Obama and Kucinich were running neck-and-neck. Even though I’m much more likely to vote for McCain in November, I would have voted for Obama in the primary because I believe that would have been better for the country.
I should have the right to decide on February 5 which way to vote. Instead, I’ll sit on the sidelines and hope for the best.