Utah had our next Senator decided in last week in the closed Republican Primary. Many are crying foul because Utah has a 30+ year unblemished record of blindly sending GOP candidates to the Senate, therefore making the November election a coronation (for lack of a better term) rather than a real election. Critics of this argument point out that anyone can register as Republican to vote in GOP primaries and that those who complain that there voices weren't heard because of the GOP closed primaries are at fault for not registering GOP.
I'll ask the question -- why shouldn't I register GOP? Other than the fact that I have vowed never to register with a political party again, is there any harm in registering Republican just to vote in the GOP primary? From a "signed" unsolicited picture of President Bush while I was a registered Republican, I know that the Utah GOP benefits from receiving my personal information which it shares with the RNC when I register as a Republican. However, there is a bigger question for which I would like an answer:
1.) Do Utah GOP's benefit financially from each voter who declares themselves as Republicans?
If any one can answer this question, let me know. I've inquired with my county and the Lieutenant Governor's office, but I have not yet received a response.
If the answer is no, than those in favor of the closed primary are right. If you want to vote in the GOP primary, the real Utah election, than you either register GOP or shut up about it. However, if the answer is yes, than we have a really abusive system in place that either shuts voters out of the system or forces voters not only to declare alligence to a political party they may not believe in, but to monetarily support one party over another through state dollars. That is wrong!
I will never register with a political party, and I'm prepared to deal with the consequences of that decision in myopically GOP Utah. However, I think we need to ask some questions of the GOP majority (and more importantly the GOP controlled state government) especially since they have closed primary elections at the expense of all Utahns.