Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Letters to Editor
By Janet Anderson
A win/win/win alternative to the blanket primary should be given serious attention
and that is eliminating the primary completely. When coupled with an instant run-off general election, the voters, the candidates and the
parties would all win. The campaign season would be shortened (beginning after summer vacations),everyone's
election costs would be reduced and an election which historically draws a minority of eligible voters but
frequently carries new taxing propositions to be imposed upon the majority would be eliminated.
The two major parties would have one new cost, that of selecting their own nominees,-- a cost minor parties have had all along. But why should the public (including minor parties) foot the bill for the GOP and Democrats to select their nominees?
The instant run-off general election would use a ballot on which voters could indicate their first, second and third choice for each office. Votes from the candidate with the lowest vote total would be transferred to those voters next choices. ÝThe transfer process would continue until a candidate won the majority of votes. Besides the obvious advantages of holding two elections in one and producing a winner supported by a majority, third-party candidates could no longer be accused of spoiling the election of the party it draws support from. In most cases, one of the major parties would end up with their vote but voters would have been allowed to indicate support for their preferred candidate without wasting that vote. We would have a more modern election system, less-third party bashing and greater voter participation in the ultimate result. Win, Win, Win.
(Janet Anderson is a long-time member of the Center for Voting and Democracy and leader with Washington Citizens for Proportional Representation)