Legislators are opening the door to eliminate the party caucus system and return to a statewide primary election system.

This could be a positive moment for the state, but only if implemented correctly. They should keep the party caucus system if they implement a closed primary.

In a closed primary, only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary and only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary. Very undemocratic for the world’s leading democracy.

Such a system excludes all other Maine registered voters, such as independents, Greens, unaffiliated, from participating in the selection of candidates for elective office.

I have a better idea.

First, Maine should have an open primary, in which all registered voters can vote and they can vote for whomever they want to support.

Next, Maine should open the June primary for all candidates running for each office. This means all the Democratic, Republican, independents, Green and any other candidates can run, and voters pick only one candidate for each office.

Only the top two vote-getting candidates for each office move on to the November election ballot, no matter what their party affiliation.

The advantages of this system are numerous:

* The November winner will have at least 50 percent of the total vote.

* No more complicated November ballots — only two candidates for each elected office.

* Potentially this will reduce partisan politics in Augusta, by reducing party allegiance.

* No more 61 percent bumper stickers.

My bet is that current legislators will not support this idea, because it weakens the established parties.

Kippy York


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