As our previous presidential election so aptly demonstrated, some people are too stupid to vote. They punch the wrong hole, fill in the wrong square, or just plain don't pay attention to what they're doing while marking up their ballot. Of course, part of the blame should go to the designer of the ballot for not making the forms idiot-proof (if such a thing is truly possible), but whatever. Here in Washington State, our legislators recognize that people are stupid, and have come up with a solution to make sure voters don't screw up their ballot.
Unfortunately, the solution is pretty damn stupid.
In this year's primary, you are only allowed to vote for candidates from a single party...
"Put simply, this campaign is designed to protect votes. People must pick one political party September 14 and stick to that party’s candidates. If they don't, some of their votes will not count."
- Sam Reed, Washington Secretary of State
Uhhh... some of my votes may not count? I vote for the best person for the job regardless of which party they're affiliated with. Since the primary election determines who ends up on the final ballot, I think it's pretty important that the candidate I want for the job actually ends up there, which is why we vote in the primary in the first place.
Now, I realize the reason that some people think this type of system is a good idea is because it prevents people who support an unopposed party candidate from messing with the competition in a different party... but what about people like me who don't give a crap about political parties? I am not a Republican, Democrat, or a Libertarian so why am I forced to vote that way? Isn't this kind of bullshit unconstitutional or something? And if it isn't, shouldn't it be? I agree that something needs to be done, but this?
Apparently we have Governor Gary Locke to thank for our new f#@%ed up primary ballot. This makes me really glad that the dumbass is retiring this year, so I don't have to worry about him making any further restrictions on my right to vote for the candidate of my choice.
I find it shocking that we can't seem to put the technology together to create an accurate voting system. A system that remembers your vote from the primary and rolls it over into the actual election if the candidate you voted for makes it on the ballot (and, if they don't, obviously you would get to choose somebody else). But since we're still using the antiquated, outrageously stupid electoral system, I suppose I shouldn't really be that surprised. It would seem that the noble idea of "one person, one vote" and truly fair elections will remain a pipe dream for the foreseeable future.
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Indiana’s primary works the same. I never bother with the primary.
The truly stupid thing is that it doesn’t solve any problems… it creates much worse new ones. For instance, if a Republican wanted to use their votes to get weaker Democrat candidates on the ballot (thus making it easier for the Republican candidate to win)… all they have to do is select a party affiliation of “Democrat” and vote away. Primaries are quickly becoming a sham, that weakens the concept of a truly fair election.