The Responsibility of a Democracy: States Choosing Presidential Candidates


Anya Souza-Ponce, Journalist

In November, the presidential elections will draw millions of people across the country to determine who the new president will be. All through February and March of 2020, people throughout the United States have voted in presidential primaries and caucuses. These will result in a Democratic candidate being chosen for the presidential election in November to run against Donald Trump. 

March 10, the second Tuesday of March, was the day of Washington’s caucus, along with Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and North Dakota. Super Tuesday was March 3, and according to the Associated Press, Joe Biden won ten of the 14 states available, including Texas and North Carolina – both states with a high number of delegates (people who represent their state). Bernie Sanders won the other four, and Senator Elizabeth Warren ended her campaign two days after Super Tuesday. 

Delegates are people who represent and vote for their state based off what the citizens vote for. If a state has a majority for one candidate, then that candidate wins more delegates. The more people there are in a state, the more delegates the state has. For example, Bernie Sanders won California, which has 415 delegates available. 

A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to be selected as the party’s presidential candidate. Currently, Biden is in the lead with 664 delegates, and Sanders is in second place with 573 delegates. Senator Elizabeth Warren has yet to endorse (support) a candidate. 

Concerns have been raised over accessibility to voting. In Texas, along with many other states, lines were hours long, and because of redlining in neighborhoods, some communities have less power in their votes. Along with this, according to NPR, communities with prisons in them count prisoners as citizens while still withholding the right to vote. This gives those places, the majority of people living in it white and Republican, more power, even though much of the population isn’t allowed to vote. 

While we students don’t have the power to vote, we do have the power to speak up and express our views, which is one of the most important responsibilities in a democracy. And what we fight for now will impact the world we enter when we do get to a point where we can vote. So whatever you believe, make sure to express yourself!