Partisan + Top-Two A Hybrid Primary = A Path to Free and Fair Elections

Paul Damian Wells

Welcome, my name is Paul Damian Wells. I’m a voting rights activist from Corvallis, Oregon and I’ve been active in election reform since 1992. I’m 58 years old and I’ve been voting since I was 18. I have lived my entire life in the United States - but in 40 years of voting, I’ve never participated in a free election for President. I’ve also never voted in a free election for Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, ... The list goes on and on. That’s my gripe. After 25 years of advocacy, I’m worn out. I hate everything about politics - always have, but I knew from the start that election reform was going to take decades. Many of the women who started the suffrage movement died of old age before woman secured the right to vote. It took blacks over a hundred years to secure an unfettered opportunity to participate in our elections - after they secured the right to vote. Many believe that battle is still ongoing. How could it be different for Independent voters? For decades, I’ve been a staunch advocate for nonpartisan elections, Nonetheless, I’ve finally accepted the fact that some compromise must be made that includes the political parties. Independents make up about 1/3 of registered voters. We need 50%. The shortfall has to be made up by partisan Democrats or Republicans. There is no other way. In 2004 I was running as a Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, and was torched by the Willamette Week Newspaper editors in their election endorsement. This is my favorite quote from years of advocacy. Some day, I’m going to have it framed and hung next to my patents and diplomas. Moving forward, the political environment is absolutely toxic right now. In the short term, I really don’t expect to see any forward progress for election reform in Oregon or anywhere else. Both major parties have devolved into angry mobs committed to tribal warfare. In the longer term however, the pendulum usually swings back and there will be periods of opportunity for election reform. My time as an advocate will be coming to an end in the next 10 years, and I’ve written this article to pass on some of what I’ve learned to the younger generation that will be taking over. Starting with the Daily Emerald at the University of Oregon,  I plan on placing print and mobile ads in college newspapers around the country over the next few years. I think this is the correct target audience and I believe this is most productive thing I can do right now.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
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4/23/18
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Partisan+Top-Two A Hybrid Primary = A Path to Free and Fair Elections

Paul Damian Wells

Welcome, my name is Paul Damian Wells. I’m a voting rights activist from Corvallis, Oregon and I’ve been active in election reform since 1992. I’m 58 years old and I’ve been voting since I was 18. I have lived my entire life in the United States - but in 40 years of voting, I’ve never participated in a free election for President. I’ve also never voted in a free election for Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, ... The list goes on and on. That’s my gripe. After 25 years of advocacy, I’m worn out. I hate everything about politics - always have, but I knew from the start that election reform was going to take decades. Many of the women who started the suffrage movement died of old age before woman secured the right to vote. It took blacks over a hundred years to secure an unfettered opportunity to participate in our elections - after they secured the right to vote. Many believe that battle is still ongoing. How could it be different for Independent voters? For decades, I’ve been a staunch advocate for nonpartisan elections, Nonetheless, I’ve finally accepted the fact that some compromise must be made that includes the political parties. Independents make up about 1/3 of registered voters. We need 50%. The shortfall has to be made up by partisan Democrats or Republicans. There is no other way. In 2004 I was running as a Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, and was torched by the Willamette Week Newspaper editors in their election endorsement. This is my favorite quote from years of advocacy. Some day, I’m going to have it framed and hung next to my patents and diplomas. Moving forward, the political environment is absolutely toxic right now. In the short term, I really don’t expect to see any forward progress for election reform in Oregon or anywhere else. Both major parties have devolved into angry mobs committed to tribal warfare. In the longer term however, the pendulum usually swings back and there will be periods of opportunity for election reform. My time as an advocate will be coming to an end in the next 10 years, and I’ve written this article to pass on some of what I’ve learned to the younger generation that will be taking over. Starting with the Daily Emerald at the University of Oregon,  I plan on placing print and mobile ads in college newspapers around the country over the next few years. I think this is the correct target audience and I believe this is most productive thing I can do right now.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
pdamianw@thekeel.org
2019 Print Ad
4/23/2018
2019 Print Ad
Print Ads
Mobile Ad
Click to enlarge
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