Hey, what’s a primary?

by Isabel Braverman

The race for president is like Shoots and Ladders: they climb, they slide, and then they are out. How do we arrive with two candidates, one Republican and one Democrat? The process is lengthy and complicated. The ultimate decision is made at the party’s National Convention. To help the party decide on their candidate, they look at the results of the primary elections or the caucus from each state. Am I getting this right? Who knows!

Primary elections and caucuses happen at different times, and take place from February to June. To find out when to vote Democrat in your state, click here (and scroll down). Now, to add more confusion, each state has open or closed primaries which means you can or cannot vote according to your registered party. This is listed on the right-hand column.This means if you want to vote for a different party, you only have a certain amount of time to change your registration (or to register!) To make it easier, if you plan on voting for Bernie Sanders, find out here.