Annie Deitz, Campus Carrier deputy news editor
On March 24, Georgia will host their 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Election. Throughout the beginning of any presidential election year, the Democratic Party hosts primary elections in all 50 states in order to choose a candidate for the general election in November. So far, two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, have hosted primary elections.
In order to decide the Democratic nomination for the 2020 general presidential election, states host individual elections to choose a candidate. According to Sean McMinn on NPR on Feb. 12, each state has a designated number of delegates relative to the states’ population. Georgia has 105 delegates. In each primary election, a candidate is granted the number of delegates proportional to the percentage of votes they received. For example, Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders received 25.7 percent of the total primary vote for New Hampshire last week, and was allotted 25.7 percent of New Hampshire’s delegates. The candidate with the most delegates at the end of primary season wins the party nomination.
As senior Sarah Pierce, president of the Young Democrats, explained, primary elections are crucial to limiting a candidate field down to a singular person, in order to ensure a party has a streamlined electoral process.
“Primaries are to elect the nominee from different parties so that when the general election happens, the party is under an agreement that they support that candidate,” Pierce said. “That way it’s not just a ton of different candidates from a ton of different parties, it’s a little bit simpler. The primary just elects that person.”
Georgia’s Democratic Primary will be held at the end of March. The last day for voter registration in Georgia is Feb. 24. In the next few months, the Young Democrats will be involved in efforts to encourage voter participation at Berry.
“We will set up a table in Krannert letting students register to vote last minute wherever they need to, making sure they know that the primaries are coming up, advertising the voting locations in Rome, providing that sort of information so it makes it a little simpler,” Pierce said.
Pierce urged students to work to learn more about the candidates and the issues before primary elections. She explained that although this might not be a general election, voting allows everyone’s voices to be heard.
“Every election is important,” Pierce said. “Yeah, it’s not the big presidential election, or midterms, which are advertised the most. But if you care about what candidate gets elected and you are upset about policies, pay attention to all of the elections. Make sure you are paying attention to the candidates that you really support in the primaries. That’s how you’re represented. That’s how you show your voice. We should exercise what control we do have.”
Primary elections for the Democratic presidential nominee will be held through June, when the Democratic National Convention will declare the winner. On Saturday, the next primary election will be held in Nevada. To see more about how the top candidates are ranking so far, review the graphic above. As for Georgia’s election, the Rome-Floyd Board of Elections website has more information about voting locations, voter registration and access to a sample ballot for Floyd County’s elections.