Current primary balloting system frustrating

Posted: Friday, December 17, 2010

As a registered Undeclared Alaskan voter, I find the current primary ballot selection process very frustrating and feel it takes away from my freedom of choice. To vote for persons running for office I must chose one of two ballots -- the Republican ballot listing only Republicans, or the Democratic ballot listing Democrats and the names of individuals running in other parties.

The combined total of registered nonpartisan and undeclared voters in Alaska exceeds 250,000. The next largest group is the Republican party with slightly more than half of that amount. To me, that means that the largest majority of Alaskan voters, those like me, prefer to vote for individuals not the party line.

Using the recent primary as an example, I wanted to vote for a Republican for one office and someone from a different party for another. Yet, I was not allowed to exercise my freedom of choice in this matter. I either had to take one ballot or the other. As a result, I did not choose the Republican ballot. Had Alaska used a blanket ballot listing all candidates maybe the current law suit fiasco costing the state time and money would have been eliminated.

In researching this it seems that the Republican Party of Alaska is responsible for the latest change to balloting, although there have been several changes to the number of ballots since 1947, even reaching a choice of six in 2002. Since the general election ballot lists candidates and their respective parties I don't understand the two ballot rationale the Republicans insist on using for the primary. I know they lost votes during the primary, mine for sure.

Dean Hill, Sterling

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