Ideas on improving elections

Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I agree with Dean Hill that the current primary balloting system is frustrating. However, by state statute, a political party has the right to close its primary, and the Republicans chose to do this. If they wanted to exclude the majority of Alaskan voters, they could even restrict the primary to registered Republicans only. That is their right. They feel that it is the privilege of Party Animals to choose their pack Alpha males/females.

This begs the question: Why then should the non-party animals pay for their process? What if each political party would accomplish the vetting process in-house? Consider this: if you choose to be undeclared (a Non-Party Animal) perhaps the price of your independence is a side line position in the preliminaries. You aren't allowed to help pick the contestants, but you're still allowed a choice in the final outcome.

Several years ago Alaskans voted on the Instant Run-off initiative. Unfortunately it failed. It is still a great idea, and would be especially useful on the municipal level where there are frequent run-off elections for mayor. These are not only expensive but also result in the mayor's ultimate election by only a handful of voters.

Perhaps a savvy Assembly person could introduce such an ordinance. I still have contacts from the initiative drive. If interested, call me.

Vicki Pate


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