Primary system is better for states

Daily Editorial Board

Last Tuesday, an overwhelming number of Minnesotans flooded state caucus sites. At many locations, lines snaked around the block —some places even experienced traffic backups.
 
 
The situation inside some sites was not an improvement; caucus-goers were met with chaos as they finally received their ballots. For those who stayed to vote on party resolutions and elect delegates to Minnesota’s state convention, the process as a whole was disorderly and unregulated.  
 
 
Caucuses are an outdated and inefficient method for nominating candidates. It’s time for Minnesota to switch to a primary system.
 
 
Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, will introduce legislation this session that would swap caucuses for primaries during presidential years. Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL Chair Ken Martin have supported this plan. Instead of relying on political parties to manage caucuses, a primary would use a more traditional election system.
 
 
Switching to a primary system would have several benefits. Crowded and confusing caucuses can turn off new voters or dissuade them from participating in the next electoral cycle. Additionally, the complicated system of electing delegates — which involves forming sub-caucus groups, electing sub-caucus heads and filling out paperwork — can intimidate voters. This can persuade students, new Americans and anyone else unfamiliar with the system to stay home on caucus day. 
 
 
Switching to a primary voting system for presidential elections just makes sense. For Minnesota to continue striving for inclusion and equity, we need to implement more accessible voting systems.