Is primary just a state-funded poll?

Posted: Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Bills are being born in Juneau to allow voter intent. Even though only the person placing the vote can really ever know this, and its not likely we'll see an election like this again in our life time.

However, there is an obvious problem with our primaries that must be fixed while our legislators are willing. The dilemma is, $1.5 million of our state money was used for this last primary, with no binding results to the participants, or commitments to the voters. Who knew! The effect is, our state is funding an advisory poll, for candidates to use as they see fit.

As we saw in this last primary, one of these candidates accepted some other advice. Any state-funded primary must be binding on its participants. If it can't be made binding, then any person choosing to continue to the general election must refund to the state an appropriate amount for administering the unaccepted primary result. If we can't resolve this situation, we may have to remove the state altogether, and have caucus straw-polls decide our primary candidates.

Right now our lieutenant governor is reviewing all processes used in this last election, and I would hope he and our representatives would appreciate our advice. Comments are being taken at www.ltgov.alaska.gov/, go to "Comment on Election Law" at left of page.

John Hollaway, Eagle River



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