RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
A Hybrid Election = a path forward Over the last two decades, much progress has been made toward the goal of providing every voter and candidate an equal and unfettered opportunity to participate in our elections. Nonetheless, election reform in Oregon has stalled completely. This is due almost entirely to the insistence of reform advocates that the current bipartisan system be abandoned entirely and replaced with a nonpartisan system. Oregon voters have rejected the Nonpartisan Top-Two primary twice in recent years. It now appears that these voters may never support a nonpartisan primary. It has at least two fatal flaws: 1. A nonpartisan primary immediately puts Democrats and Republicans at an extreme disadvantage simply because the major political parties typically field more than one candidate per office. These candidates will necessarily “split” a single block of voter support and thus fail to advance to the general election. 2. A strong majority of Oregon voters expect that both the liberal and conservative political viewpoints be represented by candidates in the general election (Big vs. Small government). Most voters don’t care who represents these doctrines - but both sides must be represented. A nonpartisan primary all but guarantees this will not be the case in most electoral districts. Partisan+Top-Two election reform doesn’t abolish the existing system. Instead, a Nonpartisan Top-Two is incorporated into the closed bipartisan primaries using a two-stage vote tally. Arguably, this new hybrid election is “free” and much more “fair” than the existing election process: 1. All voters and candidates participate equally in the candidate selection stage of the election - the primary election. 2. This is a “free” election. The name of every candidate appears on every ballot and there are no artificial barriers that would dissuade or prohibit any voter from supporting (or not supporting) any candidate(s). 3. This is a “fair” election. A two-stage vote tally insures that major party candidates are not disadvantaged simply because there are multiple Democrats and Republicans on the ballot. 4. This election insures that both the liberal and conservative political viewpoints are represented in the general election for a robust debate. By design, two candidates from the same major party cannot advance to the general election. 5. This election insures a “fair” overall election process by eliminating vote splitting in the general election.
CONCLUSION
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018
RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
A Hybrid Election = a path forward Over the last two decades, much progress has been made toward the goal of providing every voter and candidate an equal and unfettered opportunity to participate in our elections. Nonetheless, election reform in Oregon has stalled completely. This is due almost entirely to the insistence of reform advocates that the current bipartisan system be abandoned entirely and replaced with a nonpartisan system. Oregon voters have rejected the Nonpartisan Top-Two primary twice in recent years. It now appears that these voters may never support a nonpartisan primary. It has at least two fatal flaws: 1. A nonpartisan primary immediately puts Democrats and Republicans at an extreme disadvantage simply because the major political parties typically field more than one candidate per office. These candidates will necessarily “split” a single block of voter support and thus fail to advance to the general election. 2. A strong majority of Oregon voters expect that both the liberal and conservative political viewpoints be represented by candidates in the general election (Big vs. Small government). Most voters don’t care who represents these doctrines - but both sides must be represented. A nonpartisan primary all but guarantees this will not be the case in most electoral districts. Partisan+Top-Two election reform doesn’t abolish the existing system. Instead, a Nonpartisan Top-Two is incorporated into the closed bipartisan primaries using a two-stage vote tally. Arguably, this new hybrid election is “free” and much more “fair” than the existing election process: 1. All voters and candidates participate equally in the candidate selection stage of the election - the primary election. 2. This is a “free” election. The name of every candidate appears on every ballot and there are no artificial barriers that would dissuade or prohibit any voter from supporting (or not supporting) any candidate(s). 3. This is a “fair” election. A two-stage vote tally insures that major party candidates are not disadvantaged simply because there are multiple Democrats and Republicans on the ballot. 4. This election insures that both the liberal and conservative political viewpoints are represented in the general election for a robust debate. By design, two candidates from the same major party cannot advance to the general election. 5. This election insures a “fair” overall election process by eliminating vote splitting in the general election.
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018
CONCLUSION
RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
A Hybrid Election = a path forward Over the last two decades, much progress has been made toward the goal of providing every voter and candidate an equal and unfettered opportunity to participate in our elections. Nonetheless, election reform in Oregon has stalled completely. This is due almost entirely to the insistence of reform advocates that the current bipartisan system be abandoned entirely and replaced with a nonpartisan system. Oregon voters have rejected the Nonpartisan Top-Two primary twice in recent years. It now appears that these voters may never support a nonpartisan primary. It has at least two fatal flaws: 1. A nonpartisan primary immediately puts Democrats and Republicans at an extreme disadvantage simply because the major political parties typically field more than one candidate per office. These candidates will necessarily “split” a single block of voter support and thus fail to advance to the general election. 2. A strong majority of Oregon voters expect that both the liberal and conservative political viewpoints be represented by candidates in the general election (Big vs. Small government). Most voters don’t care who represents these doctrines - but both sides must be represented. A nonpartisan primary all but guarantees this will not be the case in most electoral districts. Partisan+Top-Two election reform doesn’t abolish the existing system. Instead, a Nonpartisan Top-Two is incorporated into the closed bipartisan primaries using a two- stage vote tally. Arguably, this new hybrid election is “free” and much more “fair” than the existing election process: 1. All voters and candidates participate equally in the candidate selection stage of the election - the primary election. 2. This is a “free” election. The name of every candidate appears on every ballot and there are no artificial barriers that would dissuade or prohibit any voter from supporting (or not supporting) any candidate(s). 3. This is a “fair” election. A two-stage vote tally insures that major party candidates are not disadvantaged simply because there are multiple Democrats and Republicans on the ballot. 4. This election insures that both the liberal and conservative political viewpoints are represented in the general election for a robust debate. By design, two candidates from the same major party cannot advance to the general election. 5. This election insures a “fair” overall election process by eliminating vote splitting in the general election.
CONCLUSION
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018