Does Indiana need 2 primaries?
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thirteen states have primary elections Tuesday. It’s the biggest day of the primary season.
Indiana’s May primary is still more than two months away, and a leader in the General Assembly wants the Hoosier state to be more involved in the election process.
Senate GOP leader David Long wants Indiana to be part of an Upper Midwest primary in 2020 that would take place as early as February.
“It would draw both the Democrat and Republican candidates to us,” he said.
The May Indiana primary was the focus of intense campaigning in 2008, but that doesn’t stop Kip Tew, the chairman of the 2008 Obama campaign in Indiana, from advocating an earlier primary.
“It was the best experience,” Tew said, “but it still would have been a great experience in March.”
The secretary of state oversees elections, and a spokeswoman for Connie Lawson said there’s no reason why voters can’t vote for president in February or March and then come back again to vote in the remaining races in May.
“No, if the General Assembly chooses to change the law there’s no reason Indiana couldn’t have two primaries,” said Valerie Warycha.
But not everyone agrees. Dan Parker, Hillary Clinton’s point man in Indiana, is opposed to two primaries.
“I agree with the concept of wanting to participate in the presidential process and to have high turnout,” he said, “but you want to have high turnout for all the rest of your races as well.”
But Senator Long thinks the majority of voters are on his side, and he’s already working toward 2020.
“You know, I’ve talked to leaders in Ohio,” he said, “and I’ve talked with them in Michigan. There’s interest.”
He points out that most other states hold two primaries. The biggest obstacle is cost.
A second election would be expensive. Senator Long doesn’t yet have a price tag.
Taxpayers must foot the bill.