--Roland S. Martin, 360 Contributor
I HATE the Iowa Caucus voting process
That's right, I said it. And someone needs to.
In a normal place, we go to the polls, choose the person we want, punch, pull, or tap, and then go home.
But, no! Not the Iowa Democrats.
First, you must show up by 7 p.m. If you get to your caucus location by 7:01 p.m., you can't vote. Then you have to stand on a side for your candidate. So, Obama supporters go to one corner and then Clinton's folks go elsewhere and so on.
After people go back and forth over their choice, including debating the issues, those candidates that don't get 15% of the vote then are allowed to move to another candidate. That means Edwards may be ahead in the first round, but after the shuffle, he gets overtaken by Clinton.
Then it gets even more stupid.
Instead of the person with the most votes winning, we go to a weighted system. That's right. The caucus location gets a number of delegates based on the LAST presidential election. So one location might have a huge influx of folks showing up, but it won't matter in terms of influence. It won't take effect until FOUR YEARS FROM NOW. How is that fair?
On the Republican side, it's a lot easier.
You still must show up at 7 p.m., but the vote is secret and they only report the vote totals for each candidate.
One last wrinkle...the parties are allowed to solicit for money. That's right. You go there to vote, and you get hit up for money. It's not mandatory, but it sure sullies the process.
I'm also ticked because we are getting reports that 150,000 or so Iowans will vote. That is being greeted enthusiastically, but it's pathetic in a state of 2.9 million people. That means that barely 5% of the state's population will play a crucial role in electing nominees for president.
This is why I'm with many other Americans who are sick of this process and want to see other states vote on the same day. I like the ability of candidates showing up to rallies and town hall meetings to talk with voters, but with so few participants, and these Banana Republic-type rules, this is NOT a way to elect a president.
Yet Iowans don't want it to change because their egos get stroked every four years, and the candidates pour a stupid amount of money into the state. Some $40 million has been spent on advertising, and that doesn't include the housing, food bills and other expenses incurred by the volunteers and staff workers.
Let's pray that this is the last election cycle we will see this mess of a way to "vote."