Friday, January 24, 2020

Want To Make A Difference In The 2020 Election? Primaries and Caucuses Time

Do you not live in a swing state? Are you annoyed by feeling like your vote doesn't really count because your state's electoral college is already decided? Do you live in a swing state but want to have more of a say in who you get to vote for in November?

It's a great year to participate in primaries and caucuses!

There are still several Democratic candidates for president and early voting in some states has already started. State primaries/caucuses will decide which of these candidates goes up against Trump in November. There are many different opinion about which candidate is the most likely to defeat Trump and which will be the best for the country in the long term. This post is not about that. I just want as many people as possible to participate in this very important part of the process of electing the U.S. president.

Because this country is a mess, every state does things a little bit differently, and things can change year to year. For example, Washington State just switched from a caucus system to a simple primary vote, to take place in March.

Unlike a direct comparison spreadsheet between Bernie and Liz, which I am still working on, there are already guides out there for voting for your preferred Democratic presidential candidate. The AARP has a great one on when the primaries/caucuses happen in each state. For those who can't access that, here's a simplified list I stole from them:


  • Alabama — March 3
  • Alaska — April 4 (D)
  • Arizona — March 17 (D)
  • Arkansas — March 3
  • California — March 3
  • Colorado — March 3
  • Connecticut — April 28
  • Delaware — April 28
  • District of Columbia — June 2
  • Florida — March 17
  • Georgia — March 24
  • Hawaii — April 4 (D) - Caucus
  • Idaho — March 10
  • Illinois — March 17
  • Indiana — May 5
  • Iowa — Feb. 3 - Caucus
  • Kansas — May 2 (D)
  • Kentucky — May 19 (D); March 21 (R) Caucus
  • Louisiana — April 4
  • Maine — March 3
  • Maryland — April 28
  • Massachusetts — March 3
  • Michigan — March 10
  • Minnesota — March 3
  • Mississippi — March 10
  • Missouri — March 10
  • Montana — June 2
  • Nebraska — May 12
  • Nevada — Feb. 22 (D) - Caucus
  • New Hampshire — Feb. 11
  • New Jersey — June 2
  • New Mexico — June 2
  • New York — April 28
  • North Carolina — March 3
  • North Dakota — March 10 (D) - Caucus
  • Ohio — March 17
  • Oklahoma — March 3
  • Oregon — May 19
  • Pennsylvania — April 28
  • Rhode Island — April 28
  • South Carolina — Feb. 29 (D)
  • South Dakota — June 2
  • Tennessee — March 3
  • Texas — March 3
  • Utah — March 3
  • Vermont — March 3
  • Virginia — March 3 (D)
  • Washington — March 10
  • West Virginia — May 12
  • Wisconsin — April 7
  • Wyoming — April 4 (D)-Caucus; TBD-Caucus


I can't find a guide that outlines the process for every state's primary or caucus, but if your state does a caucus, I recommend looking up instructions for where to go and what you'll need to bring and do to participate. I did it once and it was a lot more complicated than just voting. We had to travel to a nearby school and follow the instructions there to sign in, find out what group we were in, fill out forms, then we were given time to debate and discuss within our groups, then assign a group leader to deliver our individual votes for our preferred candidate.

It took hours. I'm glad we're just doing a primary vote this year. But try to do it anyway if your state is doing a caucus because not very many people participate. Your voice will have a much bigger impact in a caucus than in the November national election.

Enjoy our country's messed up and disjointed electoral system!

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