Here's how primary elections work, and how to vote

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Remember, you don’t get to endlessly complain about/re-litigate who the Democrats nominate in 2020 unless you actually take part in the process!

OK, technically there’s no law stopping you from complaining anyway but there probably should be.


But I don’t want to be a candidate!


Primary elections are not good for democracy. Multiple round elections, where everyone gets a vote in all rounds (or even more complicated rank-based systems) are good for democracy.

The single final majority round, and the very ad-hoc primary process that comes before, is the reason why the US has only two political parties with sensibly identical lines.


Right now, the most important thing to do is make sure you’re registered to vote. Some states have been purging voter roles of inactive voters.

Check to find out when your primary is. Dems and Repubs often have their primary’s on different days, and some states still haven’t scheduled them yet.


Participating in the primary elections for 2020 is good for this democracy, because we’re definitely not going to revamp the entire voting system and abolish two-party rule in time for the next election cycle.


You are completely right, of course. But when the linked article says, quote: Anericans should see the primary process as a source of national pride, it comes off as slightly self-centered and ignorant.


Primaries are all about which candidates have the most money behind them. At least, that is what the media talk about.



Oh I dunno, the First Amendment seems like a pretty good idea on the whole.

You’re free to tell people that they are clownshoes when they needlessly complain about results when they refuse to participate in the system.


Compromise: people who didn’t make any effort to vote in the primaries can still complain about the outcome, but whenever they do the rest of us have the right to punch them in the face.


The problem with primaries is that they aren’t Democratic. The party gets to step their foot on the scale and ignore the choice of the Voters. If the Democrats do it to Bernie again, this time I’m going to vote for Trump, unlike last time.

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I was debating re registering Republican just to vote against Trump in the primary (I.e. Weld, Romney, etc) but, now I have to stay Democrat to vote against Biden.


Another important point- you don’t necessarily have to be 18!

21 states allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary if they will be 18 on election day, although in 4 of these states this is only the case for the Democratic primary.


The problem is that you can’t actually negotiate and make deals with the DNC by posting blog comments to Boing Boing. You may think of yourself as an aggrieved leftist, but if you vote for Trump because you don’t like Joe Biden you’re just a Republican, and if you threaten to vote for Trump to get a rise out of strangers on the internet you’re just a troll.




Anyone who’d even consider voting for Trump shares zero values with Bernie Sanders. Bernie himself said that Hillary Clinton would be a better President on her worst day than Trump would be on his best day.

Voting Trump because the Democrats didn’t nominate someone progressive enough is like voting to eat shit sandwiches for lunch because your friends didn’t pick your favorite deli.


Speaking as an European, the whole idea that party primaries should be open to everyone and anything else is undemocratic is weird. Personal example: I’m a registered (though not actually a card-carrying; I don’t think that’s a thing anymore) member of the Green party, which means I get a say in the local party organization, and through that, in the general functioning of the party. But the idea that I should have any right to meddle in the affairs of, say, the Social Democrats, or the Coalition Party, is bizarre.

Now, while the US parties aren’t quite the same as political parties in most European countries, ultimately both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are private organizations; they have quasi-governmental position only because the voting mechanics cement a two-party system in place. But I have no sympathy for the idea that people who can’t even be bothered to register as supporters of a party should have a say in who that party should support for Presidency.

This, so many times this. If you’re a Sanders supporter who would consider voting for Trump if Bernie doesn’t get the candidacy, you don’t actually support Sanders and his policies. You’re just some entitled fool who wants a cool “outsider” candidate and is willing to throw a destructive temper tantrum if you don’t get your way.

The problem with your aggrieved narrative is that Clinton got more votes than Sanders in 2016. The party did not ignore the choice of the voters, they affirmed it.


Yes. Loathe as I am to constantly re-litigate 2016 the worst you can say about the DNC is that party insiders used their power and influence to manipulate which candidates would have an advantage with the voters, but at the end of the day the person who got the most votes is still the one who ended up on the ticket. And I say that as someone who voted for Bernie in the primaries.


In other words, like a stupid ill-mannered child, if you don’t get your way, you’ll have a tantrum and vote for the most corrosive, poisonous, destructive candidate possible. Thank you for so clearly illustrating the effect of irresponsibility and stupidity on the electoral process.