The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

American elections are too long

April 16, 2019

Graphic by Jessica Mouton

Graphic by Jessica Mouton

We are about 567 days away from the 2020 United States Presidential Election.

Even with the election being so far away, it feels like we have already been in the race for the Democratic nomination for so long. John Delaney was the first to declare his candidacy in July of 2017.

The American election cycle is egregiously too long.

It is mind numbing and has steadily become more reality TV than politics.

It needs to be shortened. It is a waste of time and money.

Many candidates that are running are already public servants.

From senators to mayors, they are all focusing on their future more than their own jobs. Obviously, campaigning is essential, but it should not detract from one’s job for over a year.

The race for the presidency also dominates the news. It detracts from many more important stories.

I think we all remember the 2016 election. It was neighing impossible to find news not centered around Trump and Clinton. Even when breaking news breaks through the barrier of an election, it is quickly flipped back to how the candidates react to the said news.

It is as if nothing else matters in the world and country.

The election cycle is also a colossal waste of money.

The 2016 election cost $2.6 billion, according to the website OpenSecrets. One could buy about 7,428,517 PlayStation 4s or subscribe to Netflix for 16,679,497 years with $2.6 billion.

Even just cutting the time of the presidential race could save $1.3 billion, which is still an insane amount of money.

I feel like we need to look to our northern brothers when it comes to the election cycle.

The last Canadian election cycle was 78 days long, and it was the longest since 1872.

The minimum length for the elections in Canada for prime minister is 36 days, and the average length is 50 days.

The 2016 presidential election was 597 days long. That is 7.7 times longer than the 78 days long 2015 Canadian election.

I am not saying the country should cut it to the length of the Canadian elections, but we need to move to cut it in length. Even reducing the number of days in half would save a ton of time, money and stress for America.

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