Voting taking place at Pecos Community Center on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.
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The proposition contributes to the problem of "vote splitting" and someone winning with much less than 50% of the vote. For example, if candidates A through F are running in a primary, many of us might prefer "B," but not enough to win. Our second choice might be "A" but, because we didn't vote that way, a fluke candidate "C" wins.
A better solution would be "tier-rank" or "preferential" balloting. You can google for it. Such a ballot allows you to specify your 1st to nth choices. At the time of tabulation, the process is like an "instant runoff." Everyone's 1st choice is tabulated. If no candidate had over 50%, the process adds the 2nd choices, and so on until the first candidate with over 50% is identified.
In this case, it would be best applied in the general election. Let parties continue to nominate their candidates however they wish. Let them hold precinct elections (or county, state conventions) on their own dime. Going into the general, there should be only one candidate from each party for each open seat. At that point, hold a general election and use the "instant runoff" ballot technique.
The proposition under discussion is really a twisted attempt to accomplish that. Instead of keeping party nominations within the party's domain, it makes it a public process. And, not only does it *not* address the problem of vote splitting, it makes it even worse. (Instead of 2-3 candidates within a party, you'll choose from a dozen or more, creating the potential for someone to advance to the general election with just 10% of the vote.).
Whoever is behind this proposition didn't have a great deal of intelligence (IMO).
Gosh, why do we need 3rd or 4th parties. After all, the democrats and republicans have done so well for us of over the past few decades. Now, I'll go and put down my hookah which is filled with a mixture of marijuana and magic mushrooms.
Seriously, do you think that's a better argument than having 2 Republicans or 2 Democrats running?
Read Proposition 121 (less than 2 pages). It ends taxpayers paying for political parties to SELECT who we can and cannot vote for in the general election. Voters will ELECT and nominate who is on their general election ballot. That ballot belongs to we the people, not any political party.
And, isn't there something inconsistent about the Libertarian leader insisting he has a right to a government-financed primary election?
Ted, the solution isn't to open up the parties to anyone who wants to vote. If you don't want the public to fund partisan nomination contests, then require that parties nominate their candidates to the general election using whatever process they like (convention, mail-in ballots, etc.).
The problem with Prop 121 is that it doesn't fix the problem of "throwing your vote away" due to a lack of runoff. In effect, it compounds the problem by opening up the primary to non-party voters who can cause a minority candidate to ascend to the general election on < 50% of the vote, perhaps entirely due to non-party voters voting for that candidate (but, that candidate wouldn't receive 50% if s/he had to have a runoff).
Then, in the general, we still don't have a runoff.
It would have been a lot better to leave parties to nominate their candidates any way they wish, and tackle the runoff problem. The day we have "instant runoff" ballots is the day we'll have 3rd parties. People will be able to vote for a 3rd party candidate without worrying that they're "throwing their vote away." (They could still vote for the "lessor of 2 evils" as their 2nd choice.).
Instead of proposing a *REAL* solution, all we got is an obfuscated primary with even MORE vote splitting (candidates winning on 20% of the vote).
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