With all the clamoring amongst the states to move primary contests to the front of the line, the Atlas has decided to leapfrog them all, unveiling today the 2008 Presidential Primary Mock Election contests: the 2008 Republican Mock Election and 2008 Democratic Mock Election. The Atlas Mock Elections in each state are set up as open primaries (meaning that any registered voter of any party affiliation may cast a ballot in either the Democratic or Republican primary). In the real primary and caucus system, each state sets the rules for participation:
- Open primaries allow voters of any party affiliation to vote
- Modified open primaries allow independent or unaffiliated voters as well as those affiliated with the party holding the election contest
- Closed primaries limit the participants to those registered with the party holding the election contest
The allocation of delegates for the Atlas Mock Primaries are modeled after the rules for each state – typically awarding delegates proportional to the popular vote in a given state or via winner-take-all (the same system as 48 states and the District of Columbia use in the general election to award Presidential Electors). In the real primary system, a certain set of delegates are allocated via the vote in congressional districts – this level of detail has been omitted on the Atlas mock election – where all the district delegates are awarded as part of the “at large” group. Overall, the primary process is quite complex.
Go now and cast your ballot!