Doug Goodman and his Nevadans for Election Reform’s “Greater Choice-Greater Voice” initiative would eliminate the primary elections in Nevada (Monday Review-Journal). This is a poor idea.
Having all the candidates on the ballot in an open election would result in greater choice, but the vote spread will be wider. Weak candidates, usually eliminated in the primaries, will get some votes, diluting the vote for strong candidates. But most voters would support their party candidates. The thousands of nonpartisan or independent voters would not make a noticeable difference in the outcome.
I’m ultra-conservative and my philosophy is libertarian, but I don’t register as such. I register Republican and support the party candidates. This allows me to wield more voting power in preventing the tax-and-spend liberal Democrats from being elected.
Mr. Goodman’s election reform efforts would be more beneficial if he advocated a change to mail-in ballots. Three states have adopted this method; a fourth is changing this year. A change to mail-in ballots would produce an enormous increase in voter participation.
Prior to an election, the county sends out sample ballots and instructions. This could easily be converted to a mail-in ballot. All the voting machines, polling places and manpower supporting a polling place would be eliminated. Additional ballot counting machines would be needed, but the savings would be substantial. A portion of these savings could be used to re-register voters for the change to mail-in ballots with thumbprint protection to prevent fraud.