ANOTHER VIEWPOINT: Keep primaries in the hands of voters


It’s a common lament among young Americans that their vote doesn’t really matter.

If Indiana eliminates U.S. senatorial primaries, it will only bolster this claim.

State Sen. James Buck, R-Kokomo, presented his plan to the Senate Elections Committee recently, proposing that senatorial candidates be nominated by party conventions rather than by primary elections.

Buck defended this proposal by arguing that eliminating primary campaigns would make running for office less costly.

This process is not unheard of in Indiana, where Republican and Democratic nominees for state offices such as lieutenant governor, attorney general and secretary of state are chosen by state conventions

Under Buck’s plan, voters would still elect the senator in the November general election.

We agree with Republican state Sen. Erin Houchin of Salem, who told Buck that she would prefer leaving the Senate candidate decision to voters rather than a much smaller pool of party convention delegates.

Buck said a bloated federal bureaucracy grew from the movement toward voters — not state lawmakers — electing U.S. senators before adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913.

Bureaucratic or not, it is the proper role of government to work in the interest of the people.

Nearly 507,000 people voted in Indiana’s 2018 Republican U.S. Senate primary. That’s a half million Hoosiers who deserve to have their voices heard.

While it may seem that too much money is spent on primary campaigns and elections, the process empowers the people in the democratic process of electing our leaders.

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