In Pierce County voters will get a chance to replace the pick-a-party primary with instant runoff voting. It will be listed as Amendment 3 on the ballot. Instant runoff voting would meet the constitutional challenges that blanket primary and top-two primary did not. It is time to get over the idea we can have the blanket primary or top-two as voting systems. By passing Amendment 3 first in Pierce County and then statewide, we can have a voting system gives us back our freedom to choose candidates and issues.
The proposed amendment to the Pierce County Charter will allow parties to control who appears on the ballot with the party name, while providing a level playing field for independents and third parties to more effectively compete in the voting process. As a result, IRV meets the freedom of association test in the state constitution.
If passed in Pierce County, this amendment will allow voters to vote for any candidate or party. Voters in California and Vermont who use this system have liked it. Voters who have used the pick-a-party system do not. It is not time to get over the pick-a-party primary. It is time, however, to eliminate it.
Commissioner, Pierce County Charter Review Commission