This morning I voted in my first primary election. (For the record, I have voted on Election Days past, but had never exercised my civic duty before November.) I have no complaints about the process -- the voting location was close, convenient, and quick; no one was around to conduct a pesky exit poll; and there wasn't a hanging chad or dangling participle in sight. But I still wonder if the primaries actually mean anything.
As far as I can tell, primaries exist to take a long list of aspirants and whittle it down to a short list of contenders. The "winners" reflect the best ad campaigns; issues are immaterial. Here in Nevada, there's a candidate for lieutenant governor who cited illegal immigration as one of her core issues. (Never mind that she'd have no jurisdiction to do anything about it if she won.) Then there's the gubernatorial wannabe with the commercials decrying Nevada's rank as "dead last" among high school graduates who go to college. Hello? It's Nevada. Much of the middle class workforce is in the gaming industry, where salaries are quite generous and higher education is not necessary. Are voters so stupid as to be led by this empty rhetoric? Yes, I believe we are.
So who did I choose as my governor and lieutenant governor? Nobody. Because I registered as a nonpartisan voter, I wasn't allowed to vote in any race with a party affiliation. The upside of my independence is that I have one less question to answer upon my inevitable Supreme Court nomination. The downside is that I wasted my time this morning on a pointless primary.