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Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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Who Should Pay for Primary Elections?

Dear Source:
I believe the legislature in an effort to be responsible finally past a law relieving the Board of Elections from assuming the cost of primary elections for parties to select their slate of candidates. However, the legislature recanted on it effort to relieve the Board of Elections the unnecessary expense of underwriting primary elections for the political parties.
In the reality of the three registered political parties, the Republican, the ICM and the Democratic parties only the Democratic Party requires a primary. I believe that is unfair to the taxpayers and reveal the irresponsibleness of the Senate for not being fiscally responsible. I, like a number of citizens, of taxpayers, believe that each political party should be responsible for their own primary elections, at least underwriting the cost even if the Board of Elections supervises the primary. The Democrats in control of the legislature and the executive branch true to their tradition requires the taxpayers to pay for their activities, for their primary singularly, since the other two parties do not require primary elections. The fourth group of electors, the no-party does not require primary elections, there all the expenses of a primary election is for the benefit of one party, the Democrats.
I wonder when are our politicians are going to muster enough intestinal fortitude to institute true electoral reforms, that make our electoral system fairer and less costly for the taxpayers. Some cost saving measures would include of course relieving the Board of Elections of the cost of conducting party primaries. Another change would be to have elections on Sundays instead of on a workday, on a school day. Another reform would be to relieve the Board of Elections from being the Registrar for the political parties. The Board of Elections should only be responsible for registering qualified electors from which the parties can draw their membership. The parties need to be given more independence to run their own affairs according to law and their own By-laws, with the oversight of the Board of Elections. These reforms would go a long way in improving our democratic system by strengthening the parties and the election system.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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