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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Open Primary" for Local Offices

At this posting, there are eight comments on this letter, which appeared in the June 27 Clarion-Ledger.


Columnist Bill Minor wrote about Mississippi's past attempts to change to nonpartisan elections, popularly called "open primaries" ("Maybe Miss. is ready to install open primary system," June 18).

While we now have a two-party state, many of our counties still decide their local elections in one party's primary. In 2011, when we elect our state and county officials, many voters will again be upset over the lack of choice in the August party primaries. These people will have to decide whether to vote for their county officials or for their favorite candidates for state offices.

We could remedy this situation by eliminating party primaries for county offices and instead listing all candidates for each county office on both the Democratic and the Republican primary ballots. Then, regardless of which party's ballot the voter picked for state offices, he or she would be able to choose among all the candidates for county offices.

Click here to see how this plan would work.

Since the legislature refuses to make this change, we citizens will have to do it through a ballot initiative.

Why do we need party primaries for local offices anyway?

Steve Rankin


Blogger SAY said...

Where is a petition? We need to get this on the ballot,I'm sure it would pass. People are fed up with partisan bickering, which allows politicians to do nothing while keeping people stirred up about the party.

Mon Jun 28, 08:21:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

You're right... the hardest part would be getting it on the ballot. I believe it would pass overwhelmingly.

Here's a way that we could get a gazillion signatures: Have people with petitions stationed near voting precincts around the state on primary day in August 2011. That's when so many people will be angry over having to choose between voting for their county officials or voting for their favorite candidates for state offices.

What difference does it make whether local officials are Democrats or Republicans? Fiorello LaGuardia noted that there's no Republican or Democratic way of cleaning the streets. The same is true of fixing potholes... cleaning out ditches... surveying property... performing autopsies...

Mon Jun 28, 11:22:00 AM CDT  

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