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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
10:04 AM Mon, Oct. 22nd

Editorial: Parties need to take primary responsibility

Some Independents get so angry when they find out they can't vote, they take it out on the folks in the county's Elections Department.

While it's always bad form to take it out on someone when someone/something else is responsible for your anger, I get the anger. Arizona's government is funding Tuesday's presidential primary, meaning it's paid 100 percent from taxes and fees collected from you and me. It's not right to exclude, especially when the same Independent voter will get to vote in the general election.

On the other hand, I don't want Independents and folks from the Other Party to have input in My Party's primary. For one thing, its an opportunity for mischief. Imagine a flood of votes by people in My Party in the primary for a second-rate candidate in Your Party who wouldn't measure up in the general election.

Yeah, you wouldn't like that.

So, what do we do?

(Theme from "Jeopardy" plays in background.)

OK, you already know the answer. If the political parties want primary elections, make them pay for them.

And since it will be a Republican primary or a Democratic primary, the rules are what the parties make them. In other words, primary elections could be as cheap or expensive as the players want to pay.

For example, set up primary elections for weekends and rent schools. This assures plenty of parking and an official-looking place to vote. Inside, 10 folks can ascertain your identity, point you to the voting booth, and keep a running total (perhaps updating the figures after 20 people vote so as not to give away your choice).

Another alternative would be sticking with party traditions. For example, the Democratic primary could allow you to vote, Chicago-style, on behalf of deceased relatives - and no ID is required. Republicans, often accused of trying to buy elections, can do so in the primary - at $1 a vote. Is Trump your man? Plunk down $1,000 and start pulling the lever.

Speaking of pulling levers, the options for primary elections in Nevada could be way up there, according to gambling legend Max Betz.

Either way, be nice to the people in the Elections Department.

And be sure to vote on Tuesday - if you can.