Waiting for an election disaster

Our old “bedsheet” primary ballots were not perfect, but they stood the test of generations, and they were kind of fun. Anything seemed possible. The more standard “straightjacket” primary ballots forced upon us were just not Washington, no matter how common they were around the rest of America.

Our old “bedsheet” primary ballots were not perfect, but they stood the test of generations, and they were kind of fun. Anything seemed possible. The more standard “straightjacket” primary ballots forced upon us were just not Washington, no matter how common they were around the rest of America.

However, the “top two” primary system we have now is a disaster waiting to happen. Actually, it has already happened. We just haven’t thought about it yet.

One of our major political parties was almost denied a place in the general election when Phil Bakke came within a whisker of being the third place candidate in our primary for District 1 County Commissioner. No sophomoric intellectualism can justify excluding one of our major parties from the November election. This would have been equally true if Helen Price Johnson, the Democratic candidate, had been kept off the November ballot, because other Democrat candidates had cut the pie too thin for her to place first or second.

At the same time, justice has been denied to Curt Gordon, the no-party candidate for District 1 County Commissioner. How can minority parties (even if they call themselves no-party) become major parties if only two “finalists” are allowed in the general election?

This disaster may be too small to register on everyone’s political Richter scale, though it probably seems pretty significant to Mr. Gordon, but just wait. When this happens higher up on the ticket, there will be a major wailing and gnashing of teeth, and we will rue the time we are wasting by not correcting the problem right now.

Neither fairness nor practicality are being served by our current primary election ballot.

Paul Newman

Oak Harbor

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Island needs, deserves quality local health care

Editor, I will be voting yes for the hospital district levy increase… Continue reading

Letter: Proposition is crucial to maintain WhidbeyHealth

Editor, Hospitals are as important to a community as other major services… Continue reading

Letter: Hoffmire presents brighter, newer vision for city

Editor, We live outside the Oak Harbor city limits, so we can’t… Continue reading

Letter: Coupeville school challengers have partisan agenda

Editor, Ward Sparacio, a candidate for Coupeville School Board, says in his… Continue reading

Letter: Diamond, Mann understand complex job

Editor, I’m writing in support of Erik Mann and John Diamond for… Continue reading

Letter: School challengers embrace a dangerous fallacy

Editor, In following the local school board election, I was particularly struck… Continue reading

Letter: Our hospital deserves the full support of voters

Editor, I urge everyone of voting age with a pulse to vote… Continue reading

Letter: Hospital proposition crucial for health of community

Editor, Hospitals are as important to a community as other major services… Continue reading

Letter: Write in Fleming for Langley council

Editor, Write in Gail Fleming for Langley City Council, Position 5. We… Continue reading

Most Read