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Primary Elections

Voting before the voting

by Beth Koehler/Copy Editor

ballotVoting is something that we Americans hear about all the time. It is used by the public to choose who, out of a group of people, is fit to lead in the predetermined position. Unfortunately, some people do not realize that voting is not something that takes place once.

This is where the primary election comes in. In almost any situation, there are a large group of people vwying for a position of public office. Getting a decent consensus on which person is best suited for the job would be nearly impossible if there were 100, or even 20 people on the ballot per position. Primary elections are used to select candidates for the “real” elections, which take place later on. Partisan (closed) primaries limit voting opportunities to declared party members while nonpartisan (open) primaries allow any voters to choose which party’s primary they wish to take part in.

They also come in direct and indirect primaries. Direct primaries are more or less a preliminary elections, in which people select their candidates themselves. In indirect primaries, voters elect delegates who select the party’s candidate at a nominating convention. In either situation, it is important that people vote for people who have their interests in mind, as the primaries essentially set the stage for the “real” elections that affect lawmaking.

The primary elections in Illinois are taking place on Tuesday Mar. 18, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.. The general election that this will lead to does not take place until Nov. 4.


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