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Author Topic: Who pays for the primaries?  (Read 5911 times)
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StatesRights
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« on: August 24, 2010, 10:17:21 pm »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 10:38:10 am »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?

I think it varies from state to state. Most states do use taxpayer money, I believe.....I think I heard once that the parties pay for them in South Carolina, for example.
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 01:25:03 pm »
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If Parties had to pay for primaries, most states wouldn't have them.
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Franzl
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 01:35:48 pm »
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If Parties had to pay for primaries, most states wouldn't have them.

Too bad, though. I don't see why taxpayers should pay for internal party matters.
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 01:38:17 pm »
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If Parties had to pay for primaries, most states wouldn't have them.

Too bad, though. I don't see why taxpayers should pay for internal party matters.

Well, one could argue that primaries are essentially a first round in a runoff system, and therefore it is okay that the states pay for them.
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 02:41:39 am »
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In Canada they are 100% party funded.
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Franzl
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 09:20:32 am »
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If Parties had to pay for primaries, most states wouldn't have them.

Too bad, though. I don't see why taxpayers should pay for internal party matters.

Well, one could argue that primaries are essentially a first round in a runoff system, and therefore it is okay that the states pay for them.

But it's nothing like a run-off system. The number of votes the various candidates have aren't relevant in the primary system, except within a single party.
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 10:11:00 pm »
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Yeah, that's a good question.  It definitely doesn't make sense that we should have to pay for that, but then again the Republicans and Democrats are practically the state sponsored parties.
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 10:16:05 pm »
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Look at how much people bitch about caucuses, which are party-funded.
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 10:43:43 pm »
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Look at how much people bitch about caucuses, which are party-funded.

We don't need either one....if parties don't want to pay for primaries....they're perfectly free to just nominate their candidates the way they do in the rest of the world.

I don't care either way.
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 12:11:07 am »
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Look at how much people bitch about caucuses, which are party-funded.

We don't need either one....if parties don't want to pay for primaries....they're perfectly free to just nominate their candidates the way they do in the rest of the world.

I don't care either way.

The way candidates are nominated is, IMO, better in the United States than elsewhere. That said, it suffers from the same problem as othe American elections, which is that a candidate can buy the electorate.
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2010, 08:13:22 am »
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Look at how much people bitch about caucuses, which are party-funded.

We don't need either one....if parties don't want to pay for primaries....they're perfectly free to just nominate their candidates the way they do in the rest of the world.

I don't care either way.

The way candidates are nominated is, IMO, better in the United States than elsewhere. That said, it suffers from the same problem as othe American elections, which is that a candidate can buy the electorate.

True dat.
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 09:12:57 pm »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?
If states require parties to nominate by primary, they have to pay for them.

It doesn't really matter whether the states or the parties actually conduct the primaries.
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2010, 07:03:12 pm »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?

I think it varies from state to state. Most states do use taxpayer money, I believe.....I think I heard once that the parties pay for them in South Carolina, for example.

South Carolina used to have party-run and paid for Presidential primaries, but that stopped being the case in 2008, provided that your party received at least 5% of the vote in the last Presidential election. In other words, they wrote the law to pay for just the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, but not those of other political parties.
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2010, 08:28:24 pm »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?

I think it varies from state to state. Most states do use taxpayer money, I believe.....I think I heard once that the parties pay for them in South Carolina, for example.

South Carolina used to have party-run and paid for Presidential primaries, but that stopped being the case in 2008, provided that your party received at least 5% of the vote in the last Presidential election. In other words, they wrote the law to pay for just the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, but not those of other political parties.

Do the Dems and GOP still control the timing of the presidential primaries in SC, or is that now set by the state legislature?
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2010, 08:56:36 pm »
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Do the Dems and GOP still control the timing of the presidential primaries in SC, or is that now set by the state legislature?

They do, subject to a requirement that they inform the State at least 90 days in advance of the date if they expect the State to pay for it.  They can also set polling hours other than the usual 7 am to 7 pm.  Also the primary must actually select who the delegates vote for.  If the primary is merely to suggest to the party convention, then the party has to pay for it.  Oddly enough they wrote the provision so that without them passing further changes to the law, it applied only to 2008.  I suspect they may have done that so that if a Republican had won in 2008, then the law would automatically revert for 2012 so that the Democrats would have to pay for their primary to see who would face the Republican incumbent themselves.
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2010, 03:13:59 pm »
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In the UK we have no primaries - although parties may organise their own equivalent of "primaries", which is to gather all the voters who deign to register to vote in the "primary" in a constituency in a church hall or school assembly hall one quiet evening, and have them select the party nominee. It's not a primary in the American sense.

Otherwise selection of nominees is restricted to party members, and party membership consists of paying the equivalent of $40 or $60 a year to the central party or the district party.

Hence, all the cost devolves on the party, but this cost consists of renting a hall for 2 hours. In the US the state-wide primary system seems to be an ingrained part of electoral procedure and, unless state parties repudiate such a procedure, it seems fair that the cost should fall on the state.
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J. J.
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« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2010, 11:43:38 pm »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?

They are required by law in some states, e.g. Pennsylvania.
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J. J.

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StatesRights
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2010, 10:10:44 am »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?

They are required by law in some states, e.g. Pennsylvania.

Requiring what basically comes down to a popularity contest is silly, no?
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J. J.
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2010, 10:22:12 am »
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When states run primary elections are they paid 100% by the tax payer? Meaning voting booths, etc? And if so, why? Primaries aren't even required by the law or the Constitution, shouldn't the parties pay for a portion of the costs?

They are required by law in some states, e.g. Pennsylvania.

Requiring what basically comes down to a popularity contest is silly, no?

Not necessarily.  It just supports a strong party structure.
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J. J.

"Actually, .. now that you mention it...." 
- Londo Molari

"Every government are parliaments of whores.
The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us." - P. J. O'Rourke

"Wa sala, wa lala."

(Zulu for, "You snooze, you lose.")
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