LETTER: Primary system not representative

Does our top-two primary in Washington State give us what we want? We want to vote in an open primary with the right to vote for the person instead of the party. We also want majority rule to give us a representative democracy. Our “top-two primary” satisfies the first wish but not the second.

We now have a problem with our 34th Legislative District Senate primary on Aug. 7. Our current senator, Sharon Nelson, is not running for re-election. Eleven candidates have filed to run for Sharon’s seat: seven Democrats, two Republicans, one Independent and one “no party” candidate.

In 2016 Andrew Pilloud (Republican) received 20.25 percent of the vote to 79.75 percent for Joe Fitzgibbon (Democrat) in the race for 34th District House, Position 2.

In our current senate race, if the two Republicans each receive 10 percent of the vote, the remaining 80 percent will be split among the other nine candidates. This is an average of 8.89 percent for each of those nine candidates (not enough to win if they closely divide the vote). The 34th District — one of the most progressive districts in the state — could put two Republicans in the general election and no Democrats. Is this majority rule democracy?

There are at least three ways to combat the negative effects of this undemocratic plurality “top two” primary.

1) Find two or three Democrats willing to drop out of the race.

2) Ask the 34th District Democrats to endorse no more than two or three Democrats — also ask other progressive organizations to endorse the same Democrats.

3) Work for a future with an open, majority-rule election primary, such as ranked-choice voting (like Maine). With ranked-choice voting, no gaming of the election system is possible, and this aberration could never happen. See FairVote.org.

— Melvin Mackey




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Letters to the Editor

Truth, Honor, Dignity, Compassion, Courage, Love

Too few people are trying, for one reason or another, to understand what those six words mean.

Newspapers are community

The Beachcomber may not be the best deal, but it is the “deal” that we have on the island.

Time is running out to flatten “human curve”

The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented reduction in pollution, congestion and other maladies.

If you have the means, stimulate Vashon

Please consider donating some or all of your stimulus money to VashonBePrepared to help our own.

Vashon nonprofits shine on Voice of Vashon

“We aim to be the nonprofit that supports all other island nonprofits.”

Making the best out of circumstances

The faculty at Chautauqua have done a great job during these tumultuous days.

Renew car tabs online

Customers are encouraged to renew their license tabs online.

Unity Rally canceled

The Indivisible Vashon leadership team has decided to cancel the August 8, 2020, Unity Rally.

Support full-day ECEAP

I am witness to significant improvement in children participating in the program.

Support Ace Hardware, but stay away if you’re ill

We are here to support you; please support us.

Thank you, Vashon, for driving less

As my dad used to say, “Life could be like this.”

Make payments with community in mind

A suggestion for how to use federal COVID-19 payments.