Understanding the primaries

With so many candidates running for the general presidential election, how do we make sure the ballot isn’t ten pages long? Primary elections, or often called just primaries, are the procedure by which the everyday voters indicate their support for their party’s candidate. The goal of primaries is to hone in the field of candidates. 

Who can vote in the primaries? Well, it depends on your state because elections are left up to the states. In Illinois, “you must be 17 years old on or before the date of the Primary Election and turn 18 on or before the date of the General or Consolidated Election.” This means that many Glenbard West seniors and some juniors can vote. Carlie Olsen, a junior, mentioned that she “is ready to be politically active and get her voter sticker on March 17th.” 

Who are noteworthy candidates who will be appearing on the primary ballot?

In the Democratic party, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, and Mike Bloomberg are all candidates (Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar have effectively dropped out of the race as of March 1st and March 2nd respectively. )

For the Republican party, the only candidate who has won contests or the popular vote is current president, Donald Trump. 

What are some of the candidate’s highlights?

  • Sanders campaigns for reversing inequalities.
  • Biden desires health care and firmly believes in bipartisanism.
  • Warren wants to tilt politics towards the working class and medicare for all. 
  • Gabbard aims to reduce American militarism and advocates for peacemaking.
  • Bloomberg promotes gun control and recognizing climate change.
  • Trump pushes towards restricting immigration and pulling troops out of overseas affairs.

What is Super Tuesday? 

Super Tuesday is on March 3rd this year, and denotes a day where the largest amount of states and territories hold their primary election. Super Tuesday is usually early in the election year, but is noteworthy after the first primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. 14 states will vote in the primaries on Super Tuesday.

Does Illinois vote on Super Tuesday?

Interesting enough, Illinois does not vote on Super Tuesday but rather on March 17th, which happens to be St. Patrick’s Day. Illinois joins states like Florida and Ohio on this primary voting day. Stay tuned to see who will get lucky enough to win Illinois’ primary election on St. Patrick’s day, or better yet vote in the primary yourself!  If you need to register to vote, read more here.