In 2004, voters in Washington rejected the pick-a-party primary by approving I-872. However, I-872's "top-two" primary system failed to protect the associational rights of the political parties and, like the blanket primary, was ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Washington voters still do not like the pick-a-party primary and the Pierce County Charter Review Commission has responded with Proposed Charter Amendment Three. This amendment would replace the pick-a-party primary with Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for county offices. IRV gives voters the opportunity to vote for any candidate and any party, just like in the blanket primary. It also honors the associational rights of political parties by protecting their control of the party name on the ballot.
In November, Pierce County voters will have the chance to take a leadership position in the state in replacing the pick-a-party primary. Voter-friendly IRV gives voters the choices of the blanket primary and parties the control of their name on the ballot. If successful, this could be a model for the rest of the state to follow.
Citizens for a Better Ballot - 1119 Pacific Ave. #1103, Tacoma, WA 98402 - www.yesonthree.com