Time to Fix Our Broken Primary System

Instead of states making a mad dash to the front of the line, we need an orderly primary and caucus system that combines the need to bring Americans truly into the decision-making process with the need to allow candidates the opportunity to interact meaningfully with citizens throughout the nation. This legislation spaces out the primary dates over several months, requiring candidates to establish themselves in multiple states.  At the same time, each primary date will include at least one state from every region in the country, which will ensure that a broad spectrum of Americans' views is accounted for in the selection process.

The current nomination system unfairly gives a small number of states - far from fully representative of the nation as a whole - a head start and has led to a number of states rushing to the front of the line to rectify this unbalance.  The result is a front-loaded, frantic primary calendar so disorganized that it could minimize rather than maximize a real testing of our candidates. Such testing is an important part of our vital Presidential selection process.

State legislatures around the country are scrambling to move up their primary or caucus dates to give their states more of a say in the presidential nominee selection process - known as "front-loading."  In 2008, the Party nomination race may well be over by February 5th.

The Interregional Presidential Primary and Caucus Act of 2007

6 Elections --  March through June
Each Region Represented in Each Election
States Rotate Every 4 Years

This plan would break down the country into six regions, with six-sub regions. The schedule is as follows:

-- Second Tuesday in March
-- First Tuesday in April
-- Fourth Tuesday in April
-- Second Tuesday in May
-- Fourth Tuesday in May
-- Second Tuesday in June

The regions and sub-regions would be broken down in the following:

Region 1: (A) Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont; (B) Massachusetts; (C) Connecticut, Rhode Island; (D) Delaware, New Jersey; (E) New York; (F) Pennsylvania

Region 2: (A) Maryland; (B) West Virginia; (C) Missouri; (D) Indiana; (E) Kentucky; (F) Tennessee

Region 3: (A) Ohio; (B) Illinois; (C) Michigan; (D) Wisconsin; (E) Iowa; (F) Minnesota

Region 4: (A) Texas; (B) Louisiana; (C) Arkansas, Oklahoma; (D) Colorado; (E) Kansas, Nebraska; (F) Arizona, New Mexico

Region 5: (A) Virginia; (B) North Carolina; (C) South Carolina; (D) Florida; (E) Georgia; (F) Mississippi, Alabama

Region 6: (A) California; (B) Washington; (C) Oregon; (D) Idaho, Nevada, Utah; (E) Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming; (F) Hawaii, Alaska

For the first Presidential election this Act would apply to, the Election Assistance Commission would determine by lottery the order in which each sub-region would hold its caucus or primary.  If a state goes first during one cycle, it will go sixth (last) in the next cycle, and fifth in the following cycle, moving up one slot each cycle.  During a 24-year rotation, then, every state will have occupied every primary and caucus slot exactly once.

This law will apply to a Presidential election taking place more than two years after the law's enactment.