EDITORIAL: Expect angry voters in fall

Apparently Washington residents should feel guilty. For 70 years, we’ve been participating in a primary election process that is unconstitutional. Maybe they should just build a fence around the whole state to keep us lawbreakers penned up.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision regarding the constitutionality of our primary system. Traditionally, Washington voters don’t have to register by party, and can vote for anyone they like on the primary ballot. In many states, voters must register by party, and receive only that party’s ballot in the primary. That stops Republicans from voting for Democrats, and vice versa. Washington’s way ended Monday, thanks to a lawsuit brought against the state by the Republican and Democrat parties. They want more purity in our primary system, so only Democrats elect Democrats and Republicans elect Republicans. The courts agreed.

Now it’s up to the Legislature to devise a new system before the scheduled September primary. Being comprised of Democrats and Republicans, the legislators may not be too objective. Voters of course want privacy, and the continued ability to vote for whichever candidate they want.

One thing Legislators should realize is that not very many voters are aware of what’s happening. They won’t know until September, when they try to vote in the primary. Chances are, they’ll be outraged by the changes. That’s when the Democrats and Republicans will realize what a huge mistake they made when they decided it would be cool to change our primary system.

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