Friday, September 30, 2016

Re-imagining the Wyoming Election System. Making it fair and democratic

Right now, for state elections, Wyoming has a system that many states have.

Here's the way it works.

Republicans who want to run for office file to run in the primary against other Republicans.

Democrats who want to run for office file to run in the primary against other Democrats.

And Libertarians, which are a recognized party in Wyoming, do the same.

At the primary, people who have registered ad Republicans get to vote for the Republicans.

And people who have registered as Democrats get to vote for the Democrats.

And the same for the Libertarians.

And then the county clerks tally up the vote.

So a party election, in effect, is held on the county dime.

That, in spite of my just going off on it, generally works okay, but its not really fully democratic.  And it gives us the situation we currently have in which we have Democrats who are probably actually middle of the road Republicans running against other Republicans, and then Republicans who actually are some sort of radical Libertarian running as though they are Republicans, and whom might even think they actually are.

This is a poor system.

Here would be a better one.

Let anyone who registers to run in the primary run, irrespective of party.

Let everyone who is a registered voter vote in the primary.  Don't even take their party affiliation down, or let it be taken down (why should I have to register my party with the county?).  At the primary election the top vote getters will be determined.

Let the top two vote getters run against each other in the general election, and the winner of that election gets the office.  If, in the primary, the top five positions are within 100 votes of each other, let them all go on to the general.

If we did that, we'd have a better chance of getting an office holder who people actually supported.  Most people don't really fit into either party, and frankly the parties aren't real parties anyway as each party has a huge division within itself.  And if we're voting for the man, rather than the party, anyhow, who cares what party they are in?

This would avoid, I'd note, a situation like we have seen this year in House District 57, in which Chuck Gray was running against Ray Pacheco in order to go on to run against Audrey Cotherman (the Democrat).  Part of that race was taken up by Gray accusing Pacheco of not being a real Republican because he used to be a Democrat.  Pacheco perhaps should have accused Gray of not being a real Republican, or at least not a Wyoming Republican, but rather being a Libertarian, but he didn't.  But, as there were only three contenders anyhow, why waste all this goofball time and effort about which party any of them are in and, instead, discuss what they actually think?

For that matter, if we had a similar system for hte U.S. House I wonder what the race we now have would be?   I doubt it would be Cheney against Greene, and while I think Cheney would be in it, I don't think she's likely be the winner as chances are that one of the other popular Republicans would be.

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