A better voting system

Many Nebraskans don’t know that the election of their state senators already involves an “open primary.” That means all voters can choose among all candidates in the primary, and party affiliation is irrelevant. The top two candidates advance to the fall election.

Unfortunately, state legislature is the only office we elect in this way. Open primaries produce candidates that are popular among all of the voters, not just candidates who tell partisans what they want to hear. Open primaries give us better options in the general election than Clinton and Trump.

I like to think we didn’t deserve Clinton vs Trump.

It would be nice to be able to pass a law to avoid the next presidential election disaster, but that will require a – dun dun duuuuunnnnnn – constitutional amendment. To ever accomplish that, we’ll need to send some better people to congress, and to do that, let’s reform our state election rules.

The open primary isn’t hard to grasp. I recommend, for Nebraska anyway, that we use an open primary to narrow down the field of candidates to three in elections for governor and congress. If parties want to hold closed primaries, they are free to do so, on their own dime, before the real primary.

To prevent a three-candidate fall election from becoming a spoiled disaster where vote splitting between the two cool candidates causes the worst candidate to win, I offer this painfully simple solution: LET THE PEOPLE VOTE FOR TWO!

Allowing voters to pick as many candidates as they want is called “approval voting.” I support a limited kind of approval voting, where people can choose up to two, or maybe three. I recommend vote-for-two in a primary field of candidates, and three might be ok if there’s about 8. I want each vote to be precious to the voter, so they won’t ever accidentally elect a bad guy they didn’t know anything about.

An open primary that includes all candidates on all ballots, and narrows down the field to the three most popular, and allowing people to choose more than one in both the primary and the general, would work wonders for measuring the actual will of the people, and for bringing more and better candidates out of the woodwork.

Or we can stick with 2-major-party-rigged primaries, and caveman caliber plurality elections that don’t really work.



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