RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
Partisan+Top-Two legal issues.  The Oregon constitution explicitly mandates “free and equal” elections but - the Oregon Supreme Court has chosen to ignore the word “free” and limit the application of equality to voters only: This interpretation is of course, grossly inadequate. Saddam Hussein was elected president of Iraq with nearly 100% of the vote in an election conducted just weeks before the start of the Iraq war with the United States. Arguably, the vote of every elector counted equally in the outcome of the election. Nonetheless, this was not a “free” election. No other candidates were allowed run against Saddam, and voting against Saddam was likely punishable by death. A significant reinterpretation of the Oregon Constitution needs to take place at some point in the future to establish the meaning of the words “free” and “equal”. Nonetheless, this reinterpretation - whatever it turns out to be, will not include a mandate for “fair” elections. Neither the Oregon or U.S. Constitutions mandate fair elections. As a practical matter, they can’t. In theory, there’s only one way to guarantee the top candidate wins every election. An election is conducted to determine the least popular candidate. That candidate is then eliminated. Another election is then held to determine the next least popular candidate. That candidate is then eliminated. And so on, until only one candidate remains. This process is much too expensive and time consuming. Both the Oregon and U.S. Supreme courts have declared that the state legislatures may use their power to regulate elections any way they see fit – provided, the state has a “compelling interest”. It may not be possible to guarantee “fair” elections in an absolute sense. Nonetheless, the courts will always support election schemes that attempt to promote elections that are as fair as possible. The two-stage vote tally in the Partisan+Top-Two primary insures that major party candidates are not artificially disadvantaged. This is constitutionally valid because the state has a compelling interest to mitigate the vote-splitting problem and insure that the primary is fair to major party candidates. Finally, in contrast to existing closed bipartisan primary, a Partisan+Top-Two doesn’t violate the right to “Freedom of Association” mandated by the U.S. Constitution. There is no penalty for not joining a political party. All voters are allowed to participate in the candidate selection stage of every election and the name of every candidate appears on every ballot.
FREE vs. FAIR IN COURT
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018
RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
Partisan+Top-Two legal issues.  The Oregon constitution explicitly mandates “free and equal” elections but - the Oregon Supreme Court has chosen to ignore the word “free” and limit the application of equality to voters only: This interpretation is of course, grossly inadequate. Saddam Hussein was elected president of Iraq with nearly 100% of the vote in an election conducted just weeks before the start of the Iraq war with the United States. Arguably, the vote of every elector counted equally in the outcome of the election. Nonetheless, this was not a “free” election. No other candidates were allowed run against Saddam, and voting against Saddam was likely punishable by death. A significant reinterpretation of the Oregon Constitution needs to take place at some point in the future to establish the meaning of the words “free” and “equal”. Nonetheless, this reinterpretation - whatever it turns out to be, will not include a mandate for “fair” elections. Neither the Oregon or U.S. Constitutions mandate fair elections. As a practical matter, they can’t. In theory, there’s only one way to guarantee the top candidate wins every election. An election is conducted to determine the least popular candidate. That candidate is then eliminated. Another election is then held to determine the next least popular candidate. That candidate is then eliminated. And so on, until only one candidate remains. This process is much too expensive and time consuming. Both the Oregon and U.S. Supreme courts have declared that the state legislatures may use their power to regulate elections any way they see fit – provided, the state has a “compelling interest”. It may not be possible to guarantee “fair” elections in an absolute sense. Nonetheless, the courts will always support election schemes that attempt to promote elections that are as fair as possible. The two-stage vote tally in the Partisan+Top-Two primary insures that major party candidates are not artificially disadvantaged. This is constitutionally valid because the state has a compelling interest to mitigate the vote-splitting problem and insure that the primary is fair to major party candidates. Finally, in contrast to existing closed bipartisan primary, a Partisan+Top-Two doesn’t violate the right to “Freedom of Association” mandated by the U.S. Constitution. There is no penalty for not joining a political party. All voters are allowed to participate in the candidate selection stage of every election and the name of every candidate appears on every ballot.
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018
FREE vs. FAIR IN COURT
RESTARTING ELECTION REFORM
Partisan+Top-Two legal issues.  The Oregon constitution explicitly mandates “free and equal” elections but - the Oregon Supreme Court has chosen to ignore the word “free” and limit the application of equality to voters only: This interpretation is of course, grossly inadequate. Saddam Hussein was elected president of Iraq with nearly 100% of the vote in an election conducted just weeks before the start of the Iraq war with the United States. Arguably, the vote of every elector counted equally in the outcome of the election. Nonetheless, this was not a “free” election. No other candidates were allowed run against Saddam, and voting against Saddam was likely punishable by death. A significant reinterpretation of the Oregon Constitution needs to take place at some point in the future to establish the meaning of the words “free” and “equal”. Nonetheless, this reinterpretation - whatever it turns out to be, will not include a mandate for “fair” elections. Neither the Oregon or U.S. Constitutions mandate fair elections. As a practical matter, they can’t. In theory, there’s only one way to guarantee the top candidate wins every election. An election is conducted to determine the least popular candidate. That candidate is then eliminated. Another election is then held to determine the next least popular candidate. That candidate is then eliminated. And so on, until only one candidate remains. This process is much too expensive and time consuming. Both the Oregon and U.S. Supreme courts have declared that the state legislatures may use their power to regulate elections any way they see fit – provided, the state has a “compelling interest”. It may not be possible to guarantee “fair” elections in an absolute sense. Nonetheless, the courts will always support election schemes that attempt to promote elections that are as fair as possible. The two-stage vote tally in the Partisan+Top-Two primary insures that major party candidates are not artificially disadvantaged. This is constitutionally valid because the state has a compelling interest to mitigate the vote-splitting problem and insure that the primary is fair to major party candidates. Finally, in contrast to existing closed bipartisan primary, a Partisan+Top-Two doesn’t violate the right to “Freedom of Association” mandated by the U.S. Constitution. There is no penalty for not joining a political party. All voters are allowed to participate in the candidate selection stage of every election and the name of every candidate appears on every ballot.
FREE vs. FAIR IN COURT
CORVALLIS, OREGON 17 MARCH 2018