Can you tell I'm excited about this? I, a bona fide independent, can vote in a primary without registering with either major party, and I can do it from the warmth and comfort of my own home. So can you! Okay, so maybe it doesn't actually count or anything, but you've got to admire the independent minds* that thought this up.
Here's the deal: You go to independentprimary.com and vote for one of 16 current presidential candidates (eight Democrats and eight Republicans). You can only vote for one, of course, or you can select "None of the Candidates." Only then do you register to vote (talk about rebellious!) by entering your name, email address, and zip code. Hit "Submit," and your vote is counted. You can only vote once. Well, once per email address, but you wouldn't vote multiples times under a slew of different email addresses, would you? Another option, by the way, is to click on "I've Already Voted; Skip This Page." That's what I did, even though I hadn't voted and even though I know and trust the creators of the site. Still, I wanted to know more before I voted.
So here's the point: Obviously, your vote doesn't count in any legal sense, but there's a lot to be said about giving independents a voice in the primary process. Imagine what would happen if independents—whom the major parties know are pivotal to their success—voted overwhelmingly for, say, Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ron Paul. That would give the Hillary-Barack and Rudy-Mitt contingents pause, if nothing else.
But that's just me talking. The folks at Independent Primary say they created the site to:
...establish and measure the power and impact of independent-minded voters on the presidential election.
We are part of a movement bringing together ordinary Americans who think that the good of the country is more important than the good of the political parties.
Frustrated by the lack of genuine and inclusive dialogue about the issues that are critical to the future of our nation, Independent Primary is uniting independent-minded Americans into an organized force to challenge the partisanship and special interest control of policy-making which is endangering our democracy.
We are committed to find a new way of doing politics that is free from the domination of big money, political party bosses and the corporate-owned media.
Sounds good to me. I do think this is an effort worth participating in. And hey, you don't even have to leave home. No effort at all.
* That would be the fine people at IndependentVoice.Org, Independent Texans, Committee for an Independent Voice New Hampshire, and the Committee for a Unified Independent Party.