A Word About Primary Elections

A Word About Primary Elections

By Ron Le Blanc

“Primaries are a family fight.”
Heather Wilson, US Congressperson

An Oregon state initiative most likely will appear on the November ballot attempting to do away with our current primary system. The organizers backing this initiative argue that an Open Primary would allow all voters a voice in the primaries. They say 31% of Oregon’s registered voters do not have the opportunity to vote.

This is not true. Non-Republicans and non-Democrats are permitted to vote if there are measures or initiatives on the ballot. This group of voters may also vote for non-partisan races that may be contested during the Primary Election. They just do not have the opportunity to vote for party specific candidates.

The purpose of the Primary Election system is to allow each political party to select their own candidate and send them on to the November General Election. As US Congressperson Heather Wilson simply stated, “Primaries are a family fight.”

Many of the supporters of the Open Primary initiative argue they do not have a say in the Primary Elections. They say the current Closed Primary Elections are biased, catering to the two party system and only allows Republicans to vote for Republicans, and Democrats to vote for Democrats, prohibiting anyone else to vote. They say they are prohibited from putting forward a candidate of their choice.

The Primaries, as currently held, allows each of the major political parties to more efficiently select their candidate for the General Election. This does not preclude the smaller political parties from selecting a candidate of their choice within their ranks for the General Election as well. Then, in the General Election, each party has a representative, if they so choose.

Let me ask you this question: If you belonged to a homeowners’ association and were deciding to raise your dues, or do repairs in the neighborhood, would you want someone who does not belong to the homeowners’ association the opportunity to vote on these issues? Or you are a member of a plumbers’ union, is it right to have members of the teachers’ union to vote on your items? These examples are the same as Open Primaries; they allow anyone to crash your party.

If someone wants to have more say, to be involved in who gets elected, and vote in the Primaries, I say stop hiding in the middle. Get off the fence, register to vote within a political party that meets your philosophy and ideology, get involved, and vote in all the elections.

You can register to vote online at http://www.ClackamasCountyRepublicans.org

The opinions stated are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Clackamas County Republican Party.