Elections should have us all on same team - the voting team - Albuquerque Journal

Elections should have us all on same team – the voting team

The most important fact sparingly reported from the Aug. 16 primary election day was that the only congressional Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection and to make it through their primary were in two states with nonpartisan, open primaries.

California and Washington have “top two” unified, nonpartisan primaries where the top two vote-getters advance to the general election.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming lost her partisan Republican primary by nearly 40 points. She has led on the Jan. 6 insurrection investigation committee. If we want thoughtful, independent representatives at all levels of government, we need an election system that allows officials to vote their conscience and not kowtow to the political extremes, regardless of party. Cheney would almost certainly have advanced to the general election in Wyoming under a nonpartisan primary system because Democrats and independents would have placed her as one of the top vote-getters, along with moderate Republicans.

Alaska used an even better system on Aug. 16 with a unified, nonpartisan primary where the top four vote-getters advance to the general, then ranked-choice voting is used in November.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski moved through the Republican primary and, if it had been closed, could she have? She voted to impeach Trump. Seems to me that, if we want a system that represents all people, including the 80% of Americans in the center, the Alaska model makes sense, regardless of your political leanings.

Does it make sense we have two political parties on polar opposites of the political spectrum, then expect after Election Day for the country to come together? It is not happening. What makes more sense is for all Americans to be on the same team – the voting team – and have all candidates present themselves to voters together. Let all voters vote for all candidates in the primary, then the top vote-getters can move on to the general, where the voters can rank their preferences. The outcome will be a winner who represents more people more of the time versus the current system where the winner generally comes out of a low-turnout partisan primary with little to no competition in the general election and represents only a narrow sliver of voters.

We have more in common than we think, and we need an election system that rewards consensus-building and problem-solving. Alaska and other innovative states are showing New Mexico the way.

Bob Perls is a former N.M. state representative, D-Sandoval County, and president of New Mexico Open Elections. He is a resident of Corrales.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Elections should have us all on same team – the voting team


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
New immersive experience lets eventgoers interact with the legendary ...
Arts
The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum saw an ... The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum saw an opportunity to work with Albuquerque-based Electric Playhouse to create 'Music For The Eyes: A New Georgia O'Keeffe Experience
2
Historic locomotive Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe 2926 almost ...
Arts
The AT&SF 2926 was built in ... The AT&SF 2926 was built in 1944 and ran a million miles in the American Southwest before being retired to an Albuquerque park in ...
3
New Mexico town fiercely protective of its land and ...
Arts
Chilili's name is not to be ... Chilili's name is not to be confused with another small town in northern New Mexico called Chili, or the delicious condiment we put on ...
4
Eliminating mimosa seed pods can help larvae in check
Arts
Earlier this year you had some ... Earlier this year you had some sort of adult insects lay eggs throughout the mimosa, probably just at the spot where the flowers extended ...
5
'Grounded' explores the struggle between war and family
Arts
Fusion Theatre Company is staging 'Grounded' ... Fusion Theatre Company is staging 'Grounded' beginning on Friday, Oct. 7, at The Cell Theatre. The play runs on weekends through Oct. 16. 'Grounded' ...
6
'When the Dogs Stop Barking' explores the humanitarian crisis ...
Arts
Open at 516 ARTS through Dec. ... Open at 516 ARTS through Dec. 31, 'When the Dogs Stop Barking' exhibits the work of five artists exploring this humanitarian crisis spanning 1,954 ...
7
'Migratory' pairs the migration of plants and animals with ...
Arts
'Migratory,' developed by Mexico City artist ... 'Migratory,' developed by Mexico City artist Minerva Cuevas, will run at 516 ARTS through Dec. 31.
8
The third Fixed and Free Quarterly features a collection ...
Arts
Fifty-nine poets – the ... Fifty-nine poets – the majority from New Mexico – contributed the 112 poems that spice up the third and most ...
9
Via Ferrata, like the one in Telluride, are a ...
Arts
Via ferratas started in Italy during ... Via ferratas started in Italy during World War I to allow troops to pass through rugged alpine areas, the idea spread across Europe and ...