DC’s Closed Primary

As a Virginian, I have the option of choosing which ballot I vote tomorrow, something that as a non-partisan centrist, I appreciate immensely. I find the option liberating, allowing me to choose which I wish to support in the primary stage depending on who seems to be the most valuable. However, DC independents like Max and Jenn don’t have that option. They need to use the archaic political party system to choose which primary they get to vote in. They had to register with a party back in January.

It seems like bullshit to me, to have to register with a party to get to choose a nominee. Those of us who aren’t “party faithful” and find the general concepts of political parties at large to be a distasteful relic of the past, get easily frustrated by the silencing of our voices.

Are you an independent in DC shut out by the process? Make your case in the comments, either for your candidate of choice, or for changing the system.

7 Comments so far

  1. poo poo (unregistered) on February 11th, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

    i’m an independent, but had to register as a democrat so i could cast my vote in dc’s primary tomorrow.

    it totally undermines the spirit of free elections. i think it’s bullshit too.

    i wonder if dems have included me in their party’s tabulations, and what the impact of that might be…

    needless to say, i’ll be changing back to an official independent voter after my vote is cast and counted.

  2. Don (unregistered) on February 11th, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

    Personally I don’t have a problem with the concept of a closed primary. A party is free to run (or ruin) its inner workings however it likes. The Dems and Repubs handle the caucus process differently, for example.

    What I do have the problem with is how this is all tied up into our state laws. Look at what a disaster the Florida ‘early’ primaries are. Why? Because the state, an entity controlled by a mixture of both parties, set dates of operation that the national Democratic party organization didn’t like.

    In a proper world the parties would call the shots and get what they want, schedule-wise… on their dime. I see no reason the states should be footing the bill to do make this selection in the primary stage. Making their selection for the office of the President is one thing – it’s their constitutional duty – but in the primaries is quite another.

  3. Max (unregistered) on February 11th, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

    This rarely happens, but I agree with what Don said. I’d like to cast my vote but I guess I’ll have to wait until November.

  4. Max (unregistered) on February 11th, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

    Oh snap! I just found out that I’m registered as a Donkey so a voting I will go!

  5. beth (unregistered) on February 11th, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

    When I moved back to DC in Nov and had to get a new license, I registered as an independent for the first time. While I tend to lean towards one direction, I’m not a fan of either party. But I didn’t realize until last week that this would shut me out of the primary. pooh-pooh, indeed!

  6. poo poo (unregistered) on February 11th, 2008 @ 7:07 pm


    yeah, it’s folks like met that figure out what’s going on, tap into the system by registering in one party or another, and cast our votes. then change back to being ‘independent’ or whatever.

    it’s the folks that know how to abuse the system that count.

    and yeah, flicking parties around is abusing the system.

    getting your vote to count is utilizing the system.

    maybe all the states should follow DC’s example?

    sounds like a few of you are all on board!

    great! get out and vote and change the system!

    maybe next year, you burbanites will have to follow the same rules as the folks that live in the nation’s capital.

    (and pay tolls to commute into our city!)

    sleept tight!


  7. Kad (unregistered) on February 17th, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

    I am an independent living in Maryland, which is a closed Primary system.
    I did not know I gave up my rights to be a citizen, if I want to put partisan politics aside.
    No wonder nothing can get done everyone is too busy taking sides instead of taking on issues.


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