I’ve defended them myself. We want more participation, not less, and caucuses discourage too many voters. Minnesota switched to a presidential primary election since the last time we did this.
With 85 percent of precincts reporting at press time, nearly 815,000 Minnesotans cast ballots in Tuesday’s presidential primary. In 2016, just 318,000 people participated in caucuses statewide.
Caucuses had long been criticized as being more appealing to party insiders rather than the typical voter. Long lines and slow results also frustrated participants in 2016.
I don’t know that Minnesota was as prepared as they should be. I talked to a few people who live in more rural counties (even more rural than Stevens county, where I live), and they simply had no designated polling places at all — all votes had to be done with a mail-in ballot. They were rather jealous of the fact that I was wearing an “I VOTED” sticker, and isn’t getting that sticker the whole point of going to vote?
But yes, we felt like the turnout was huge in 2016, with chaotic milling mobs at the bar where we caucused, but apparently that was less than half the number who participated this year.