Calling the presidential nominating system "archaic, flawed, chaotic, ridiculous and unparalleled in a Democratic society for its primitiveness," Sen. Alan J. Dixon (D-Ill.) introduced a bill that would create eight regional presidential primaries and diminish the influence of early voting in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Those two states, the first to reveal their presidential preferences, "have almost complete authority to select the two nominees even though they have only 2 percent of the population," Dixon said at a news conference last week.

Dixon's bill would divide the country into eight regions, with primaries or caucuses held from mid-March through mid-June. The Federal Election Commission would determine the order by drawing lots.

"It makes no sense for a presidential candidate to go out to Iowa and visit a lady whose rule is she doesn't endorse anybody . . . until that candidate sits in her kitchen 10 different times and gets checked off on the chart on her icebox door," he said. "That is no way to select the president of the United States."

Dixon has tried twice before to get the bill passed. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee approved the legislation, but it never reached the floor. Dixon said if he cannot get the bill considered this year, he will attach it as an amendment to other legislation.