Should the Primary Voting System Change?
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The winners have been declared in Tuesday’s primary elections. On the heels of the results, a political analyst weighs in on how the results might have been different if the primary process was different.
Several states have blanket primaries or open primaries. Supporters say they could increase voter turnout and get the best two candidates to the general election regardless of the party. Opponents say there’s no proof of that.
Voters throughout the metro hit the polls for Tuesday night’s primary. Early Tuesday evening, Kansas City reported a disappointing turnout. Some say they’d like to say they would like to see the way primaries are held changed.
“Normally, these days there’s not one person that wants to vote straight ticket. It’s not the way it works anymore,” said analyst Jason Grill.
Grill’s answer is the blanket primary. Currently, in Missouri and Kansas, residents must vote on either the Republican or Democrat ballot containing only that party’s candidates. With a blanket primary, all candidates for each race would be on one ballot. People could vote for whomever they chose. Then the top two winners would advance to the general election. Even if they were of the same party.
“We’ve seen that primary elections have become so partisan with who gets elected,” Grill said. “Usually, the extremes of both parties get elected so you have extreme one, versus extreme two in the general election, and a lot of the general public more of the independent minded public doesn’t really feel a connection with each candidates.”
Both of the top two system isn’t without criticism. Opponents have been concerned about things like one party domination. Others say there’s simply no research proving these type of primaries bring out more voters.
Washington State, California and Louisiana have all used the Top 2 System for primaries. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled them constitutional in 2008.