Critics say Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses give the state too much power. Minnesota’s Secretary of State wants to see the U.S. decide presidential primary elections on a regional basis, rather than state-by-state. Mary Kiffmeyer, who’s also President of the National Association of Secretaries of State, says the regional approach would be more “fair” to voters.Kiffmeyer says “We have the opportunity to have…more citizens be able to hear from candidates and…for the costs to be greatly reduced when you don’t have to be crisscrossing the whole country, you can actually drive within a region.” Kiffmeyer says regions would take turns going first. The national political parties and all 50-states would have to agree on the regional idea before it could happen. Kiffmeyer says a switch would stop certain early primary states from having too much power. She says “We may take some action as the Midwest area and as a group of smaller states in the Midwest and say if we all just got together and get the ball rolling, maybe that would be the way to get others to follow suit.” Kiffmeyer plans to sponsor a bill during the 2005 state legislative session that would call for Minnesota’s support of the regional idea.
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