Editorial: Eagle Countians left out of primary process | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Eagle Countians left out of primary process

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Twenty-four states go to the polls Feb. 5 in what is known as Super Tuesday.

Colorado is among the states theoretically participating in the big event, but Houston, er, Denver, we’ve got a problem.

Colorado has a caucus, not a regular primary, and it’s non-binding on the Republican side.

Local Democrats will meet at just one site, the Eagle County Building at 6:30 p.m. The local Republicans have multiple meeting places ” the Vail Public Library, the El Jebel Community Center, the Community Church and German residence in Burns, the Ambulance Center in Edwards, the Eagle-Vail Pavilion, as well as the Fairgrounds. But all of these get-togethers are starting sometime between 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The main problem with a caucus is that that not everyone in Eagle County works a traditional 9-to-5 day. We’re all about tourism and a service-based economy, and those workers likely won’t be able to participate in the process. So anyone who has a night shift, ” sno-cat operators, maintenance workers, bartenders, wait staff, dishwashers ” kiss your vote good-bye.

For the Democrats, there’s also the issue of having only one site. Not everyone has a car, so even if you’re off from work, good luck getting to the Fairgrounds.

While the GOP is to be commended for having multiple caucus sites, there just one catch. While the Democrats will assign their delegates for Denver ” site of the party’s national convention ” in a proportionally-based manner on how caucuses statewide vote, on the Republican side, your vote literally doesn’t matter.

The Colorado Republican Party will select its delegation and the nominee to whom those electors are committed this summer, likely to whomever emerges later this year from this wide-open race with the most delegates. Since the GOP caucuses around the state are non-binding, the Colorado Republican Party has essentially let the other 49 states in the union decide who the GOP nominee will be for the Centennial State.

In a time when Americans are politically divided ” see the 2000 and the 2004 presidential elections ” and have choices on either side of the aisle, the process of determining nominees for president in Colorado should be accessible and binding.

The answer is a traditional primary held throughout the day at multiple precincts.

The current caucus system is a waste.

” Chris Freud for the Editorial Board

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