To the Editor,
The current primary system in Indiana needs to be changed to allow all of the voters an equal chance at selecting the people who will represent them in the government.
The current system of selecting candidates for the general election does not allow people to vote for any candidate in the primary but only allows a voter to vote for candidates in one party only. For independents this means they have to become a Republican or a Democrat for those few minutes to vote in the primary. But a far greater problem is that for many local offices the primary essentially decides the general election because either the county has historically voted all Republican/Democrat or there is no opposing candidate in the other party. This disenfranchises many voters from one party the opportunity to vote for an office. Is this right? In my opinion, it is wrong not give every voter the same opportunity to vote for an office.
The primary elections were originally designed to combat the selection of party nominees by the state party conventions. These conventions were easily manipulated by party bosses hand picking individuals that would be beholden to them when they were in office.
The people demanded change and through a slow process primaries replaced the conventions in most states. In the United States today there are several types of primaries, open primaries, non-binding primaries or like Indiana, a primary that requires the voter to pick only one party to select nominees.
The current process in Indiana can be changed but only through the very people that have a stake in the current primary set up, our legislators. What is the probability of this happening? Very little. However if enough of the people of this state demand change, eventually change will occur.
In my opinion what we need in Indiana is a system where everyone who is running for an office is on the same ballot. All the voters get to cast a vote for every public office on that ballot. The two nominees for each office or seat who receive the most votes are then forwarded to the general election. This process would not only let all voters get a vote but also eliminate the host of other nominees who always siphon off a few votes every general election. For me, this would be a true election that would represent the will of the people.