MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, some 60,000 people are expected to arrive at their precinct caucuses and spend the next three hours debating, then voting on their Presidential choices.
In 2010, more than two million people in this state voted in the general election. Is a caucus really democratic? What if you have to work, have an infant, a cold or a car problem? What if you don’t have a babysitter, an errand that has to be done or your power goes off?
Life happens at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Most people simply don’t have the time or resources to make it to caucuses. So why does Minnesota, which consistently has the highest voter turnout in the nation have a caucus, not a primary?
Well according to Professor Steven Schier of Carleton College, it’s because party leaders like it that way. The 60,000 that will turn out on Tuesday are the ones whose email addresses and phone number can be taken down. They are the ones who can be counted on to door knock, lit drop and make phone calls.
And so the parties nail down their hard core supporters, but what about the rest of the voters who want their voices heard, but are not hard core enough or able to spend three hours on a Tuesday debating Presidential politics?
They are all left behind, their voices unheard in this critical election year. That is something Minnesota, as a state, needs to question.