RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
A “Partisan+Top-Two” Primary A “Partisan+Top-Two” election is a merger of the existing closed partisan primaries and a Nonpartisan Top-Two. The idea is to “modify” the existing partisan elections so that minor-party and Independent voters are allowed full participation in all stages of the election process  - without abolishing the bipartisan system or creating a system unfair to major parties and their candidates. Shown below are mock ballots for the 2016 Oregon Presidential Primary. These are representations of the actual ballots received by voters in May of 2016. By law, Oregon still conducts closed partisan primaries and, as shown, there were three different ballots used – a Republican ballot showing only Republican Candidates, a Democratic ballot showing only Democratic candidates and a Nonpartisan ballot, sent to all minor-party and Independent voters - which showed no candidates at all - not even a write-in space. (Note: Oregon had 3 major parties in 2016 but the third party had no presidential candidate.)
BACKWARD OR LATERALLY
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018
Click to Enlarge
Next, mock ballots for the same 2016 presidential primary – if it had been conducted as a Partisan+Top-Two, are shown below. As before, there are still three different ballots – Republican, Democratic and Nonpartisan. However, unlike existing ballots – the name of every candidate appears on every ballot. (Including minor-party and Independent) All candidates and voters are guaranteed the opportunity to participate fully and equally in the candidate selection stage of the election.
Click to Enlarge
A “two-stage” vote tally. To avoid the inevitable vote split for major party candidates, the vote tally in a Partisan+Top- Two primary is conducted in two stages. The partisan ballots are tallied first, with the top candidate from each major party winning all his/her party votes (winner-take-all). The results of the partisan tally are then added to the non-partisan ballots to determine the top two candidates. (By registering as a member of a major party and requesting a major party ballot, a voter implicitly agrees to support the top candidate of his/her party in the final Top-Two vote tally.) Some important details: 1. Advancement to the general election is no longer guaranteed to the winner of the major party contests. A strong minor-party or Independent candidate has an equal opportunity to advance. 2. Major party ballots have the names of the associated party candidates grouped together at the top with the names of other candidates listed separately below. Each major party voter can “opt-out” of a major party contest, on a race by race basis, by selecting a non-party candidate from the lower half of the ballot. There are no artificial barriers that would prohibit any voter from voting for any candidate. (In a free election, minor party and Independent candidates must have an unfettered opportunity to solicit the support of major party voters.) 3. If a major party voter opts-out of a major party race (by voting for a non-party candidate), that vote is not counted in the partisan tally, but is nonetheless included in the final Top-Two tally with other nonpartisan votes. This is a free election. Each voter may cast a single vote, and that one vote counts the same as any other vote in determining the top two candidates. 4. These ballots could be modified to give each voter the opportunity to indicate a first, second and third choice for each office. (Ranked Choice Voting) A major party voter automatically opts-out of a major party race by selecting a non-party candidate as a first, second or third choice. (The implicit statement of intent to support the top party candidate is negated by the explicit selection of a non-party candidate.) 5. It’s not shown above, but a Partisan+Top-Two primary eliminates the possibility of vote- splitting in the general election because only two candidates advance. The issue of minor- party candidates being invited to the presidential debates will also be resolved. (Only the top two candidates will be invited to debate in the run-up to the general election.) 6. A “Write-In” candidate is allowed on every ballot but - is always a non-partisan candidate. 7. Each major party voter may write-in the name of a major party candidate even if the name is already preprinted on the ballot above. This is a free election and there are no artificial barriers that would prohibit any voter from not supporting any candidate(s). (A write-in is always a non-partisan vote and is not counted in the initial Partisan winner-take-all tally.) 8. It’s not shown above, but write-in candidates are still allowed on the general election ballots as well. In a free election, voters must be allowed to vote for any candidate regardless of whether the candidate's name is preprinted on the ballot or not. 9. Closed Partisan ballots are only provided to major political parties – meaning political parties with a significant base of voter support that typically field more than one candidate per office.
RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
A “Partisan+Top-Two” Primary A “Partisan+Top-Two” election is a merger of the existing closed partisan primaries and a Nonpartisan Top-Two. The idea is to “modify” the existing partisan elections so that minor- party and Independent voters are allowed full participation in all stages of the election process  - without abolishing the bipartisan system or creating a system unfair to major parties and their candidates. Shown below are mock ballots for the 2016 Oregon Presidential Primary. These are representations of the actual ballots received by voters in May of 2016. By law, Oregon still conducts closed partisan primaries and, as shown, there were three different ballots used – a Republican ballot showing only Republican Candidates, a Democratic ballot showing only Democratic candidates and a Nonpartisan ballot, sent to all minor-party and Independent voters - which showed no candidates at all - not even a write-in space. (Note: Oregon had 3 major parties in 2016 but the third party had no presidential candidate.)
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018
BACKWARD OR LATERALLY
Next, mock ballots for the same 2016 presidential primary – if it had been conducted as a Partisan+Top-Two, are shown below. As before, there are still three different ballots – Republican, Democratic and Nonpartisan. However, unlike existing ballots – the name of every candidate appears on every ballot. (Including minor-party and Independent) All candidates and voters are guaranteed the opportunity to participate fully and equally in the candidate selection stage of the election.
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
A “two-stage” vote tally. To avoid the inevitable vote split for major party candidates, the vote tally in a Partisan+Top-Two primary is conducted in two stages. The partisan ballots are tallied first, with the top candidate from each major party winning all his/her party votes (winner-take-all). The results of the partisan tally are then added to the non-partisan ballots to determine the top two candidates. (By registering as a member of a major party and requesting a major party ballot, a voter implicitly agrees to support the top candidate of his/her party in the final Top- Two vote tally.) Some important details: 1. Advancement to the general election is no longer guaranteed to the winner of the major party contests. A strong minor-party or Independent candidate has an equal opportunity to advance. 2. Major party ballots have the names of the associated party candidates grouped together at the top with the names of other candidates listed separately below. Each major party voter can “opt-out” of a major party contest, on a race by race basis, by selecting a non-party candidate from the lower half of the ballot. There are no artificial barriers that would prohibit any voter from voting for any candidate. (In a free election, minor party and Independent candidates must have an unfettered opportunity to solicit the support of major party voters.) 3. If a major party voter opts-out of a major party race (by voting for a non-partisan candidate), that vote is not counted in the partisan tally, but is nonetheless included in the final Top-Two tally with other nonpartisan votes. This is a free election. Each voter may cast a single vote, and that one vote counts the same as any other vote in determining the top two candidates. 4. These ballots could be modified to give each voter the opportunity to indicate a first, second and third choice for each office. (Ranked Choice Voting) A major party voter automatically opts-out of a major party race by selecting a non-party candidate as a first, second or third choice. (The implicit statement of intent to support the top party candidate is negated by the explicit selection of a non-party candidate.) 5. It’s not shown above, but a Partisan+Top- Two primary eliminates the possibility of vote-splitting in the general election because only two candidates advance. The issue of minor-party candidates being invited to the presidential debates will also be resolved. (Only the top two candidates will be invited to debate in the run-up to the general election.) 6. A “Write-In” candidate is allowed on every ballot but - is always a non-partisan candidate. 7. Each major party voter may write-in the name of a major party candidate even if the name is already preprinted on the ballot above. This is a free election and there are no artificial barriers that would prohibit any voter from not supporting any candidate(s). (A write-in is always a non- partisan vote and is not counted in the initial Partisan winner-take-all tally.) 8. It’s not shown above, but write-in candidates are still allowed on the general election ballots as well. In a free election, voters must be allowed to vote for any candidate regardless of whether the candidate's name is preprinted on the ballot or not. 9. Closed Partisan ballots are only provided to major political parties – meaning political parties with a significant base of voter support that typically field more than one candidate per office.
RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
A “Partisan+Top-Two” Primary A “Partisan+Top-Two” election is a merger of the existing closed partisan primaries and a Nonpartisan Top-Two. The idea is to “modify” the existing partisan elections so that minor-party and Independent voters are allowed full participation in all stages of the election process  - without abolishing the bipartisan system or creating a system unfair to major parties and their candidates. Shown below are mock ballots for the 2016 Oregon Presidential Primary. These are representations of the actual ballots received by voters in May of 2016. By law, Oregon still conducts closed partisan primaries and, as shown, there were three different ballots used – a Republican ballot showing only Republican Candidates, a Democratic ballot showing only Democratic candidates and a Nonpartisan ballot, sent to all minor-party and Independent voters - which showed no candidates at all - not even a write-in space. (Note: Oregon had 3 major parties in 2016 but the third party had no presidential candidate.)
BACKWARD OR LATERALLY
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018
Click to Enlarge
Next, mock ballots for the same 2016 presidential primary – if it had been conducted as a Partisan+Top-Two, are shown below. As before, there are still three different ballots – Republican, Democratic and Nonpartisan. However, unlike existing ballots – the name of every candidate appears on every ballot. (Including minor-party and Independent) All candidates and voters are guaranteed the opportunity to participate fully and equally in the candidate selection stage of the election.
Click to Enlarge
A “two-stage” vote tally. To avoid the inevitable vote split for major party candidates, the vote tally in a Partisan+Top-Two primary is conducted in two stages. The partisan ballots are tallied first, with the top candidate from each major party winning all his/her party votes (winner-take-all). The results of the partisan tally are then added to the non-partisan ballots to determine the top two candidates. (By registering as a member of a major party and requesting a major party ballot, a voter implicitly agrees to support the top candidate of his/her party in the final Top-Two vote tally.) Some important details: 1. Advancement to the general election is no longer guaranteed to the winner of the major party contests. A strong minor-party or Independent candidate has an equal opportunity to advance. 2. Major party ballots have the names of the associated party candidates grouped together at the top with the names of other candidates listed separately below. Each major party voter can “opt-out” of a major party contest, on a race by race basis, by selecting a non-party candidate from the lower half of the ballot. There are no artificial barriers that would prohibit any voter from voting for any candidate. (In a free election, minor party and Independent candidates must have an unfettered opportunity to solicit the support of major party voters.) 3. If a major party voter opts-out of a major party race (by voting for a non-party candidate), that vote is not counted in the partisan tally, but is nonetheless included in the final Top-Two tally with other nonpartisan votes. This is a free election. Each voter may cast a single vote, and that one vote counts the same as any other vote in determining the top two candidates. 4. These ballots could be modified to give each voter the opportunity to indicate a first, second and third choice for each office. (Ranked Choice Voting) A major party voter automatically opts-out of a major party race by selecting a non-party candidate as a first, second or third choice. (The implicit statement of intent to support the top party candidate is negated by the explicit selection of a non-party candidate.) 5. It’s not shown above, but a Partisan+Top-Two primary eliminates the possibility of vote-splitting in the general election because only two candidates advance. The issue of minor-party candidates being invited to the presidential debates will also be resolved. (Only the top two candidates will be invited to debate in the run-up to the general election.) 6. A “Write-In” candidate is allowed on every ballot but - is always a non-partisan candidate. 7. Each major party voter may write-in the name of a major party candidate even if the name is already preprinted on the ballot above. This is a free election and there are no artificial barriers that would prohibit any voter from not supporting any candidate(s). (A write-in is always a non-partisan vote and is not counted in the initial Partisan winner-take-all tally.) 8. It’s not shown above, but write-in candidates are still allowed on the general election ballots as well. In a free election, voters must be allowed to vote for any candidate regardless of whether the candidate's name is preprinted on the ballot or not. 9. Closed Partisan ballots are only provided to major political parties – meaning political parties with a significant base of voter support that typically field more than one candidate per office.