Now here is a great story that illustrates everything weird about the presidential selection process. Washington State is having a meaningless primary after they already handed out delegates in their caucuses. As the NY Times reports:
As many as 1.5 million votes are projected to be cast in Washington State’s presidential primary on Tuesday. The question is whether they will count. The state is obliged to tally the numbers, of course, and the state Republican Party will award 19 of its 40 delegates based on the primary results. Yet Senator John McCain’s selection as the Republican nominee is pretty much assured. More problematic is that the state Democratic Party long ago said it would award its delegates based solely on the results of the statewide caucuses that were held on Feb. 9. The party says a record 250,000 people turned out for the caucuses, which Senator Barack Obama won by 36 percentage points.
So they are having an election, in which the winner gets….well, nothing.
And alas, below we get the gripes that voters have because they do not get that primary elections are, well, party elections that are run by party rules and they get to choose who they affiliate with.
People [in Washington] do not register to vote by party affiliation, but this year voters in the primary must check a box declaring a preferred party and sign an oath promising that they did not vote in a caucus for another party. There is no mechanism to ensure that people do so — just trust. But if a voter does not select a party and sign the oath, their vote will not be counted in the presidential primary. The changes have not gone over well.
“We’re hearing daily, in huge volumes, from voters who are angry with this style of primary,” said Bobbie Egan, a spokeswoman for the King County elections division. Ms. Egan said the department had received 50 to 75 complaints a day in recent weeks. Mail-in ballots received so far show that 25 percent of voters in King County, the largest in the state, are not checking the box. Many are writing notes on their ballots. “This is anti-democracy,” one voter wrote. “Political parties should not control who I can vote for.”