The U. S. Primary System we use to choose Candidates is broken, but there's a proven way to make it Better.
A Tiny Fraction of possible Voters get to Choose who is actually Running for Office. It's what happens in most State and Federal Elections across the Country. if you're a Registered Republican, you get to vote in their Primaries for that Party Officials, Local, State, and Congressional Candidates. Democrats, the same.
But what if you're among the more than 40% of Voters, Half of all Millennials, who are Independent?
In many States, you have to Register as a Member of a Party in order to Vote in the Primary. If Registering as a Member of a Party you don't necessarily agree with on many Issues rubs you the wrong way, join the Club.
Some States, like Nebraska, have taken a different Approach and it's working much better.
John Opdycke, the President of Open Primaries, explained in a recent Atlantic Interview, how this Alternative system truly Breaks the Mold. "[The primaries] don't just determine party nominees," he said. "They determine the shape and the tenor and tone of the campaign, the issues that are on the table, the coalitions that are on the table."
Ways they do that:
1. Open Primaries, where anyone can Vote for any Candidate regardless of Party Registration. It means that Candidates have to Appeal to all Voters, not simply the ones in their Party, to end up on the final ballot.
I think there needs to be a modification of this concept. With the Courts approach to the Association Clause, the Open Primary Ballots need to be split, between one for Party Members that includes Party Official Candidates and one for Non-Party Voters.
2. A General Election Ballot without Party Affiliation where Voters choose between the Top-Two Candidates. It also means that the People get things they want accomplished by their Lawmakers, despite Political Affiliations of the Parties. In the case of Nebraska, a Legislature comprised of 35 Republicans, 13 Democrats, and 1 Independent accomplished a Raise in the Minimum Wage, Immigration Reform, Abolishing the Death Penalty, and Raising the Gas Tax, among other things.
I would change Top-Two to any Candidate who receives at least 25% of the Primary Vote. This could lead to Top-Three or a possible Top-Four.
3. A Non-Partisan Unicameral Legislature where Politicians work together. A Unicameral Legislature is something that rather flips the Traditional Voting Narrative on its head, and it's Opening some eyes. Definitively, Unicameral Legislature means a one Chamber House, rather than Two Divided Ones. With No Formal Party Alignments or Caucuses, it allows Coalitions to form Issue by Issue. This way, every Bill gets an Open and Public Committee Hearing regardless of the Member's Party Status.
Nebraska's Congressional Delegation which is 80% Republican, and Elected through a more traditional Partisan Primary process. Nebraska's Congressional Delegation consistently Votes with their National Party and has Opposed Progress on these Issues offering the same base of Voters very different Outcomes on Issues they care about.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker