Danny Westneat wrote in his column “How we pick presidents has got to change” is correct in the sense the process needs to be more efficient. But we should still retain the caucus system and do not, under any circumstance, replace it with a mail-in vote process.
The caucus system is the only truly democratic way of electing candidates through delegates who are selected to represent caucus participants’ (neighbors) point of view. The system takes place behind closed doors — with large donors being unable to influence the process. Bring it out into the open via mail-in ballot, and the large donors will be running TV ads morning, noon and night to influence the vote.
Computerizing the process can be done — safely and securely. It would take donations to raise the funding to do so, but it could and should be done. It could also be done by closing the caucus and requiring everyone to join their party — to take part in the caucus. Remember, along with the process being used to ultimately select a presidential candidate, it also uses the citizen delegates to develop the party plank, which represents future goals to be achieved by that party.
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Years ago, caucuses were held in the home of the precinct committee person. It could be too large a group, but with coordinated effort and funding, it could still be run at the precinct level — finding a smaller public space to host event. Next level could then be at the congressional level and so on — right up to the state convention.
Gordon Ridgeway, Bothell