ALESTLE VIEW: Stay informed about upcoming primary elections

The 2020 presidential election is an incredibly important one, but for those in the Metro East voting blue this time around, the upcoming primary elections are going to be much more important.

A primary election shapes the candidate who will be representing the party in the main election in 2020 — President Donald Trump is all but guaranteed to get the nomination for the Republican party.

While Missouri has historically been a state that could go either way, it has gone red since the start of the 21st century. Conversely, Illinois’s electoral college votes are likely to go to a Democratic candidate. While every person who’s able to vote should still vote in the general election, with the results in both states nearly predetermined, the primary election gives Democratic voters the chance to more directly shape who they think should lead the country.

The Illinois Democratic Primary Election will be held Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and the primary in Missouri will be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. According to both states’ delegate selection plans, votes from each primary will be given out proportionally to candidates who earn them — neither state is all-or-nothing for one candidate, so each state’s votes are important.

Both major parties require voters to state their party affiliations.

It is also worth noting while Trump will most likely become the Republican candidate for president in 2020, primary elections also include races like Senate and House of Representative positions, so there’s still a reason to show up if you already know you’re going to vote red.

While we at The Alestle believe every potential voter should be participating to the fullest reasonable extent in our democratic process, that doesn’t mean we should just be showing up and voting blindly in the primaries. 

The upcoming flood of political ads might not be upon us yet, but we still need to be thinking critically about potential candidates and continuing to stay informed.

The election day for the next President of the United States (as well as countless federal and state senate and representative positions) doesn’t happen until Nov. 3 of next year, but we need to be paying attention to the potential candidates now so that we can make the most informed decisions possible in the primary.

Illinois’s online voter registration can be found here, and Missouri’s can be found here.

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