Would California-style Primaries Ease Albany Deadlock?

John Opdycke,  president of Open ­Primaries, a national election-reform group, pens a column appearing in Crain’s discussing how non-partisan primaries could help end the incumbency protection and reelection mentality often seen in New York’s major party primaries.


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One response to “Would California-style Primaries Ease Albany Deadlock?

  1. Opdycke doesn’t mention Washington state, which has been using his preffered system (which is generally called a top-two system) longer than California. Washington has the nation’s most gridlocked state legislature. The 2013 budget couldn’t pass in the regular session, nor the first special session, nor the 2nd special session. It finally passed in the 3rd special session. The same thing happened this year; it took 3 special sessions to pass a budget. Now the Washington state legislature will need a 4th special session this year to fix the educational funding problem, because the State Supreme Court has fined the state $100,000 per day until it is fixed. Also Opdycke doesn’t mention that his preferred system caused California turnout to plummet in 2014 more than any other state. California is the only state in which the turnout rate in November 2014 was less than seven-tenths of the November 2010 turnout. The reason turnout plunged so badly is that in November 2010 Californians had six parties on their general election ballots for all the statewide offices, but in Nov. 2014 there was just one Dem and one Rep on the ballot. People want choices beyond just Dems and Reps on their November ballots.

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