Amendment V: Harder for Indies to Reach General… But Better Chance to Win?

Tony Venhuizen, our Governor’s chief of staff, notes an inconsistency between my opposition to Referred Law 19 and my support for Amendment V:

Tony Venhuizen, Tweet, 2016.08.15.
Tony Venhuizen, Tweet, 2016.08.15.

Venhuizen has a point. Right now, independent candidates automatically make the general election ballot. Under Amendment V, they must fight for one of the two general election ballot spots in the open non-partisan primary. Given that independents almost never beat both of the major party candidates in the general election, it seems extremely unlikely that independents will survive the primary to compete in November.

But does that primary challenge make any worse end results for independents than the status quo? If Venhuizen’s reasoning is sound, Amendment V produces the same results as the status quo: darned few independents win public office. Amendment V solves other problems, like allowing everyone to vote for sheriff even when the only two candidates are Republicans; should the failure to change a separate problem really be considered a disadvantage?

It occurs to me that Amendment V might actually improve the odds for independent and third-party candidates to stand a fighting chance in the general election. Right now, candidates from outside the two major parties struggle to get attention in the general election. Even Larry Pressler, a three-term former Senator with great name recognition, only managed to win 17.1% of the vote. That’s well behind Republican Mike Rounds’s winning 50.4% and Democrat Rick Weiland’s 29.5%. But if we could replay that election, an ambitious non-R/D challenger has better odds of raising that 17% to 30% to beat Weiland than to 51% to beat Rounds. It may be easier for an independent to place second in a primary, especially a fractious primary with multiple Republicans splitting party loyalties, than for that same independent to place first in a general election.

Consider the numbers from the 2014 Senate elections:

  • Votes cast in Senate general: 279,412.
  • Votes required to win by majority: 139,707.
  • Votes cast in GOP Senate primary: 74,490.
  • Votes that would have been cast in an open, non-partisan primary if Democrats and others turned out in same proportion (31.5%) as Republicans: 160,172.
  • Votes required to win by majority: 80,086.
  • Votes Larry Rhoden won to place second in the GOP primary: 13,593.
  • Votes needed to win a proportional second-place victory in our hypothetical open non-partisan primary: 29,228.

All sorts of math complicates that speculation—would Amendment V increase primary interest and turnout? how do extreme candidates temper their message to appeal to newly primary-enfranchised moderate voters, and how does that temperance affect vote counts? But any given candidate, including independents, stands a better chance of winning 29,228 votes in June than 139,707 votes in November. If an independent pulls off that surprising June second-place win, she rides all sorts of positive-surprise press into the general, sheds the “third-party can’t win, so why waste the vote?” stigma, and gets to be the only alternative in November for donors and voters who can’t stand the other gal.

In the current system, a non-major party candidate has to build a single-stage rocket to the Moon. Under Amendment V, that candidate just needs to reach orbit, where there are whole extra fuel caches for first and second place. Amendment V makes indy access to the general election ballot harder, but it may make their chances of ultimate victory easier.

Independent candidates will need to reach orbit in the spring rather than reaching the Moon in one big fast blast in the fall. They may also have to file their petitions sooner. Currently, the deadline for independents to submit their nominating petitions (this year, April 26) comes after the deadline for printing primary ballots (this year, April 20). To make the primary ballot (not to mention to allow citizens time to review and challenge their petitions), independents will have to submit their petitions by the same deadline as party candidates, a month earlier (this year, March 31).

Of course, if Amendment V passes, we could also move our state primary to July, August, or even September 13, the way they do in Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.


155 Responses to Amendment V: Harder for Indies to Reach General… But Better Chance to Win?

  1. drey samuelson

    Very well said, Cory, as usual. Independents won’t have an automatic line in the general election–nor will Republican or Democratic candidates, either–but they will have a much better shot to actually win election if they can make the top two.

  2. Amendment V is unethical, unfair, and anti-democracy. Alt parties still have to deal with media bias/blackout and lack of funding. Also primary turnout is typically lower than general election turnout. “Once again, the big winner in South Dakota’s primary was voter apathy. A dismal 21.93 percent of registered voters turned out for Tuesday’s election.” – KOTA-TV 6/8/16

    All top 2 does in make it harder for alt parties. The open primary idea is fine by why combine that with Top 2? Top 2 ruined elections in CA. Nearly all statewide races in CA will be Top 2 with only a D and R to choose from. Some races are worse, just Top 2 options from the same party. Take the California Senate race for example: top 2 offers Californians only 2 Democrats to choose from in the Senate race. This leaves Republicans and alternative political parties with no representative options in November. How terrible for voter choice and democracy.

    Why not allow voters to choose from top 5. Alternatively, why not allow voters to choose among the top vote earner in all of the states qualified parties and also the top 3 independents? Amendment V is a nonsensical and unethical reduction in voter choice.

    All this will do is solidify incumbents in power and ensure alt party and independent competition for the Ds and Rs.

    NO on Amendment V.

  3. And as I’ve asked on YouTube, I’ll ask here: if the primary results in one party or another not making the general election ballot, whose fault is that: the primary system, or that party that didn’t organize, recruit, and campaign hard enough to win at least one of the general election slots?

    Complaining that the game is unfair is for losers like Donald Trump.

  4. @caheidelberger If you have to resort to equating caring about fair elections and voter freedom with being a “loser” then I’ll keep my expectations for a coherent reply from you low. To answer your question the AGAIN the fault would be people who voted for Amendment V and also mainstream media which typically engages in media bias and blackout. Also alt parties are funded by tons of corporations like Democrats and Republicans typically are – therefore they are at an advertising disadvantage. This is a combination of unfair election laws and media bias and blackout which results in lack of voter education. And you know very well the primaries in your state are poorly attended and that most voters engage in general elections.

    But this can hurt Democrats and Republicans too. If you’re a Democrat you could wind up with a ballot that has top 2 both being Republicans. If you’re a Republican you could wind up with a ballot that has top 2 both being Democrats. What if you’re an independent? You could wind up with 2 terrible or corrupt candidates and then you’ve shot yourself in the foot.

    Corey, are you part of the staff or a volunteer for Open Primaries or Vote Yes on V?

    Also how about an attempt to answer: Why not allow voters to choose from top 5. Alternatively, why not allow voters to choose among the top vote earner in all of the states qualified parties and also the top 3 independents? Amendment V is a nonsensical and unethical reduction in voter choice.

    Also, are you a Democrat, Republican, independent or something else?

    Why are you so eager to reduce voter choice?

  5. Correction: I meant to write: Also alt parties are not funded by tons of corporations like Democrats and Republicans typically are

  6. Darin Larson

    Cory, do you ever feel like you get attacked from all sides? Coyote complains that V will result in jungle primaries that are anti-majoritarian, ie, the major parties could divide up their votes in the primary amongst too many candidates and allow independents or minority voter party candidates to prevail.

    Now you are being criticized by someone saying this is a plot by the major parties to keep their stranglehold on power.

    If everybody is complaining, maybe you are on to something. :)

    No More 2 Party System complains about media coverage and lack of resources and other factors that have nothing to do with V. Those disadvantages will still exist whether V passes or fails.

    I am for V because I think it promotes moderate candidates, be they Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Let’s elect problem solvers instead of partisan demagogues.

    If I were against the two major parties, I would also be for V because it is bound to shake up the status quo at times. There will be instances where an independent has a better chance to be elected if V passes. It doesn’t leave an open door for independents to walk through, but it does unbolt the deadbolt of the status quo so that an independent only has to turn the knob and open the door. How do they do that? By campaigning, raising money, getting their message out and persuading voters that they have good ideas and are worth sending to Pierre.

  7. First, I’d like NM2PS to use her/his real name instead of advertising the name of her/his organization. You call me by my name, I call you by yours.

    Second, as regular readers know, I’m not a paid staffer of any campaign. I’m not a volunteer for any campaign other than my own District 3 Senate campaign. I write what I write because I believe it will be good for democracy.

    Third, if NM2PS takes a moment to review my positions on all of our ten ballot measures, NM2PS will recognize that I’m all about increasing voter choice, as made clearest by my referral and rejection of 2015 SB 69/Referred Law 19. Look at the big picture, NM2PS.

    Fourth, my use of the term “loser” is meant not as a cheap insult but as a quite literal term to describe people who can’t win elections no matter how we structure the nomination/primary/general process. If third parties and independents want to win, they need to organize, recruit, campaign, and win. I’m happy to eradicate unfair systemic disadvantages for indy/third-parties from statute, but I don’t see V erecting any greater barrier to indy/third-party victory than exists now. You want to win an election? Win the darn election.

    Fifth, media bias is non-unique. It will remain with or without V. Media bias is not a flaw in V itself. NM2PS has a lot of blame to spread around, but that blame doesn’t belong on V.

    Sixth, NM2PS ignores the advantage V offers outsider candidates. Right now, indy/third-party goes against Big R and Big D, gets drowned out in media coverage, left out of debates, and draws single digits in November (maybe teens if they bring some amazing advantage like Larry Pressler’s name recognition. Under V, indy/third party goes against many Rs and many Ds who split their parties’ support and cash. If indy/third party is smart (and indy/3 has to be smart, because much of the system is still rigged against him), indy/3 appeals to all the independent voters, builds coalitions with disaffected party members, and places second in the primary. Indy/3 then gets a head-to-head match-up with just one Big R or one Big D in the general. Media bias disappears. Indy/3 always makes the fall debate stages. Indy/3 can ask the party that didn’t make the general to consider him a reasonable substitute worth funding. Indy/3 has a chance at winning the general that he never would have in the current system.

    You see what I’m saying, NM2PS? V offers a chance at knocking down media bias. V gives a chance for Indy/3 to get general election traction. Indy/3 just has to campaign smart in the primary and win second place. V improves Indy/3’s chances at victory.

  8. Seventh, “attempt to answer: Why not allow voters to choose from top 5…?” Asked and answered by V itself. V offers exactly what NM2PS asks for: everybody gets to vote on every candidate in the June primary. From that vote, we draw the two best candidates for a runoff vote.

  9. @Darin Larson Your claim is simply not supported by evidence. You should read “Fix the Top Two Primary: Admirable Goals Don’t Justify Indefensible Outcomes” (not sure if I can post links here).

    Or find “Ballotpedia United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2016” and you’ll see that incumbents are nearly always in the Top 2. Out of 53 congressional districts the only 2 times an independent reached the top 2 is in areas where Republicans are not viable (the San Francisco and Los Angeles area). Otherwise there are 8 areas where Top 2 is both Democrats. Nor Green, Libertarian, or other alt party options made it to Top 2. This is more or less the same outcome since this took effect in CA back in 2012.

    Since South Dakota is a red state you may end up with several Top 2 Republican races.

    Why would you want to drastically reduce your voter options to only 2 aside from wanting to ensure the status quo?

  10. drey samuelson

    NM2PS–you might find this interesting, an excellent report on how the top two nonpartisan election system works in Nebraska, which is what Amendment V is based upon. California’s system is somewhat similar, but only somewhat as there are partisan designations on their ballot and, as a consequence, their legislature is organized along partisan lines. Nebraska, which has no partisan designations, has no partisan governance of its legislature, and it functions differently, and better.

    http://www.openprimaries.org/research_nebraska

  11. @caheidelberger You think reducing general election choices to only 2 options (which could be from the same party) is “good for democracy.” That’s just laughable spin to anyone with common sense. If you’re indeed interested in getting ride of “unfair systemic disadvantages for indy/third-parties from statute” then you’re misguided it seems. Top 2 kills off alt parties in the general elections where more voters participate and you know this. Pretending otherwise is intellectually dishonest. All you have to do is look at what Top 2 did to CA elections and you can see the claims of people like you, Open Primaries, and the Yes on V campaign simply don’t hold up to the evidence.

    In CA this November voters can choose from two party-line status quo Democrats for the Senate race. Since South Dakota is a red state you may end up with several Top 2 Republican races. That is not democracy.

    You go from stating your support for fair elections for all parties and candidates and then you make absurd comments like “You want to win an election? Win the darn election” Media bias/blackout creates an uneducated voting public. Combine that with how Citizen’s United enables corporations to dump tons of cash into the campaigns of the status quo republicans and Democrats and you have a nearly impossible uphill battle for alt parties and true independents. All Top 2 does in make things worse.

    There is NO advantage to Top 2 expect for incumbents and the status quo despite the false claims of groups like Open Primaries and the proponents of Top 2 such as Republicans Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abel Maldonado.

    You claim, “Under V, indy/third party goes against many Rs and many Ds who split their parties’ support and cash.” Interesting theory but the evidence in CA clearly shows Top 2 solidifies incumbents winning both the primary and typically the general election thereafter.

    You claim “Media bias disappears.” Nope. Not even a big name like Cindy Sheehan could get media attention when she ran for Governor in 2014 in CA.

    Cory you have a lot of interesting theories but the evidence of the impact of Top 2 contractions all of your claims.

    Worth reading:

    “Fix the Top Two Primary: Admirable Goals Don’t Justify Indefensible Outcomes”
    (not sure if I can post links here).

    “Ballotpedia United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2016”
    You’ll see that incumbents are nearly always in the Top 2. Out of 53 congressional districts the only 2 times an independent reached the top 2 is in areas where Republicans are not viable (the San Francisco and Los Angeles area). Otherwise there are 8 areas where Top 2 is both Democrats. Nor Green, Libertarian, or other alt party options made it to Top 2. This is more or less the same outcome since this took effect in CA back in 2012.

    “Prop 14 “Fake Open Primary”: The Destruction of California’s Independent Political Parties”

    Why do you want so badly to restrict voter choice in general elections?
    Why not support voters picking from the top voter earner from each party in November?

    You claim: “everybody gets to vote on every candidate in the June primary. From that vote, we draw the two best candidates for a runoff vote.” No duh. So I repeat: Why do you want so badly to restrict voter choice in general elections?

    Also, my name is Jeff.

  12. @drey samuelson Nebraska is interesting but it’s clearly still a red state. Also, does anything about elections in that state justify reducing voter choice? Open Primaries does a good job or raising all sorts of issues to distract from the fact that the bottom line with Top 2 is an unfair and drastic reduction in voter choice.

    Not taking issue with open primaries or with nonpartisan races (even though it’s absurd to think the Top 2 would not be party line, status quo Ds and Rs nonetheless). The problem is an open primary with Top 2 is a needless trade-off of more choice in the low turnout primary elections for a drastic and un-democratic reduction in choice in general elections.

    Even if Nebraska was a Utopian area it still does not justify taking away voter choice.

    BTW, looks like incumbent nonpartisan (LOL) Republican incumbents are doing fine there in Nebraska:

    https://ballotpedia.org/Nebraska_State_Senate_elections,_2016
    https://ballotpedia.org/Nebraska_State_Senate_elections,_2014
    https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections_in_Nebraska,_2014

    Nebraska
    In Nebraska, top-two primaries are used only for state legislative races, which are nonpartisan to begin with, as well as certain statewide races.
    https://ballotpedia.org/Top-two_primary

  13. @drey samuelson Nebraska is interesting but it’s clearly still a red state. Also, does anything about elections in that state justify reducing voter choice? Open Primaries does a good job or raising all sorts of issues to distract from the fact that the bottom line with Top 2 is an unfair and drastic reduction in voter choice.

    Not taking issue with open primaries or with nonpartisan races (even though it’s absurd to think the Top 2 would not be party line, status quo Ds and Rs nonetheless). The problem is an open primary with Top 2 is a needless trade-off of more choice in the low turnout primary elections for a drastic and un-democratic reduction in choice in general elections.

    Even if Nebraska was a Utopian area it still does not justify taking away voter choice.

    BTW, reviewing ballotpedia it looks like incumbent nonpartisan (LOL) Republican incumbents are doing fine there in Nebraska:

    Nebraska
    In Nebraska, top-two primaries are used only for state legislative races, which are nonpartisan to begin with, as well as certain statewide races.
    -ballotpedia

    Note: when I try to include links the post does not show up

  14. @Drey Samuelson 1) Your op-ed has comments disabled so other voters in your state cannot challenge your claims.

    2) I used a control F search to double check and I notice the op-ed says nothing about “Top 2” “top two” or education in general election voter choice.

    Typical tactic of Top 2 proponents to omit that important detail. Why? Because you know people would not support voter choice if they understood that’s what they were voting for.

  15. drey samuelson

    NM2PS–if voter choice is your issue, then you might be reassured to know that Nebraska legislative races rank in the top five states in the country in terms of competitive legislative races, while South Dakota only has–according to the Argus Leader’s Dana Ferguson, who researched it–eight (yes, 8!) legislative races out of 105 that can reasonably called competitive.

    http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2016/08/18/sd-legislative-races-likely-feature-just-handful-surprises/88580354/

    Not much voter choice if the race is decided by the primary, right?

  16. drey samuelson

    NM2PS–Nebraskans are very well aware of how their top-two nonpartisan election system works, and how it elects legislators who, instead of being loyal to their party, are loyal to their voters. And that’s why the poll that I cited in my op-ed shows overwhelming support from Nebraskans for their nonpartisan Legislature, while South Dakotans express only lukewarm support for their partisan version. Nonpartisan governance simply works better, and it’s not even close.

    But I’ll wait for your answer on the contrast between the two states on competitive elections, without which voters effectively have no choice.

  17. @drey samuelson If you’re so confident about this then present Top 2 to voters as the true reduction of voter choice that it is. Tell the voters straight up: we want to give you more choice in primary election (where turnout is very low) for the trade-off of a drastic reduction in choice of only 2 options (which could be 2 of the same party as they hide under cloak of nonpartisan).

    When Top 2 passed in a low turnout primary in 2010 voters weren’t paying attention. But the next time the top 2 scheme was on the ballot in Arizona and then Oregon paid attention and caught on to how this reduced voter choice and they rejected it.

    The concept of ope primary is popular but the concept of Top 2 is not. This is why groups like Open Primaries like to hide or gloss over the Top 2 aspect of this scheme – as they always fail to explain why they want so badly to reduce voter choice in November.

    Let’s look at recent primary turnouts:

    Nebraska:

    “Turnout was about 26.5 percent of the state’s 1.165 million voters, according to figures from the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday. A total of 309,079 voters cast ballots.”
    -Omaha World-Herald 05/11/16

    South Dakota:

    “SD Secretary of State: 22 percent voter turnout in primary”
    -Fox KEVN 06/08/16

    California:

    “California Secretary of State Alex Padilla certified Friday that more than 8.5 million people, or 47.7 percent of registered voters, participated in the June primary, and that Hillary Clinton decisively won the state’s Democratic race. Turnout just surpassed the 47.5 percent of California’s 1992 primary — the lowest participation rate of the four presidential primaries without an incumbent in at least the last quarter century, according to the secretary of state’s office.”

    -U.S. News & World Report 07/15/16

    CA’s primary the past few election cycles was closer to 25% evoking headlines like “California’s 2014 Voter Turnout Was Even Worse Than You Thought” in 2014.

    Let’s not pretend primaries with turnouts near 25-50% of registered voters pick the Top 2 (which the evidence shows is incumbent Ds and Rs more often than not) is anything resembling democracy.

    Plain and simply: Top 2 is anti-democracy, it’s anti-voter-choice.

  18. @drey samuelson Support for “nonpartisan Legislature” is not the same as support for undemocratic Top 2.

    If you or Cory or a rep from Open Primaries or a ref from the Yes on V campaign wants to discuss this on our No More 2 Party System YouTube channel or can find a neutral party to find a forum (such as a talk radio show) to discuss this then I’d be happy to participate.

    -Jeff of No More 2 Party System

  19. mike from iowa

    Does the top 2 eliminate write in votes?

  20. drey samuelson

    Jeff of NM2PS–well, if you believe that a state system which has 8 competitive elections out of 105 is an example of “voter choice,” then we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

    If you click on the link below, you’ll see that Nebraska–with their top two, nonpartisan election system–is #2 in the country. The evidence is clear that Nebraska’s legislative election system is extremely competitive (and thus gives voters a great deal of choice), and that it’s enormously popular with the folks who live in the state. You and I both have bigger fish to fry than trying to convince the other, and I’m getting back to frying. Thanks for the discussion.

    Here’s the link:

    https://ballotpedia.org/2016_state_legislative_elections_analyzed_using_a_Competitiveness_Index

  21. drey samuelson

    Mike–no the top two system doesn’t eliminate write-in votes, the SD Constitution does, however.

  22. @drey samuelson Don’t put words in my -emouth to deflect from how you want to take away voter choice. I never claimed “8 competitive elections out of 105 is an example of “voter choice,”” and you know that. Much needs to be done to make elections fair for both voters and candidates. Amendment V is clearly not the solution.

    You’re defending a small group of primary voters having more power than the greater number of general election voters.

    You’re defending an outright takeaway of voter choice in November general elections.

    I can understand you ignoring the request to discuss this on the NM2PS channel or a forum since you’re trying to defend the indefensible postilion of taking away voter choice.

  23. @mike from iowa I can find no mention of “write in” or “write-in” looking at the SOS PDFs.

    It did take away the write in option from voters when passed in CA back in 2010. A lawsuit followed (Lawsuit challenges write-in rules under California’s top-two system Sac Bee). I am unsure what the outcome is. Richard Winger of Ballot Access News is the smartest guy I know about this stuff. I recommend emailing him. His email is on the website and he seems to do a good job of replying.

    If drey samuelson is correct that the SD Constitution forbids write ins then that makes Top 2 even scarier. Imagine if both candidates were exposed to be corrupt after the primary but before the general election.

    I simply cannot imagine any scenario where taking away voter choice is a benefit to voters. As we see in CA where Top 2 has been in effect since 2010 all it does it reduce voter choice in general elections.

  24. “You’re defending a small group of primary voters having more power than the greater number of general election voters.”

    I’m just going to pause on this absolutely asinine statement.

  25. @Dicta Feel free to refute with evidence.

    I can’t make sense of the SD SOS page regarding voter turnout but recent SD primary turnout was 22% according to Fox KEVN. According to Christian Science Monitor “South Dakota’s high average – 60.17 percent – comes from a history of civic engagement and competitive politics in the state.”

    According to The United States Elections Project:
    2012 SD General election turnout was between 50-59% (it’s unclear to me looking at the chat)
    2012 SD primary turnout was 15%

    So indeed Amendment V would result in a small group of primary voters having more power than the greater number of general election voters.

    But feel free to refute with evidence instead of the equivalent to “nuh uh.”

  26. “reduce voter options”—Jeff-NM2PS keeps repeating that phrase like a required marketing line and accusing everyone who disagrees of pretending. Rubbish.

    V increases voter choice. Voters have more opportunities to vote for more candidates. Whether voters avail themselves of that increased choice is up to them.

    As Dicta’s comment suggests, empirical claims about voter turnout in current closed primaries bear little weight on our consideration of the merits of changing to an open primary. Such empirical claims ignore V’s offer of more reason to participate in the primary. Voter habits may die hard, but V invites voters to participate in primaries that matter in a way that current primaries do not.

    I don’t hide the top-two element of V when I explain it to voters. I included top-two in the video that drew Jeff-NM2PS’s attention to this conversation.

    Jeff-NM2PS also ignores that one advantage of V in South Dakota is that, in many jurisdictions, V is a “No More 1 Party Rule” measure. Back in Lake County, we had two elections in a row where the only candidates for sheriff were Republicans. Two elections in a row, a majority of voters had no choice, because sheriff was decided in the GOP primary and there was no general. V gives more voters in districts like that more chances to vote.

    I don’t mind allowing write-in votes. Repeal SDCL 12-20-21.2. Allow voters to pencil in an option if they are unhappy with the two choices in the general, or the choices in the primary, for that matter. That’s a small matter with no bearing on the merits of giving more voters more choices on more nonpartisan ballots.

  27. Don Coyote

    An interesting take on the Nebraska Unicameral and it’s non-partisan primary. From the Nebraska Law Review (1973) by William Riley who is now a judge on the US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “George Norris was adamant that the nonpartisan concept be inextricably joined with the unicameral concept and be voted upon as one innovation.”

    However this is not what we are voting on in South Dakota. The main reason for this fusion of two issues was to do away with conference committees that ironed out the differences between the two houses of the legislature. Norris felt that there was too much influence by partisan party chairs and hence too much log rolling and horse trading in the final legislation that defeated the intent of the original legislation.

    In summary Riley concludes that a nonpartisan primary will probably only be successful in a unicameral legislature.

    “The endeavor to balance the advantages and disadvantages of a nonpartisan unicameral is wrought with inconsistencies; a conclusion as to the justification and worth of the nonpartisan feature is elusive. However, nonpartisanship is probably only possible in a unicameral with a small membership such as Nebraska’s. Thus it either succeeds here, or nowhere.”

    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2362&context=nlr

  28. drey samuelson

    Don Coyote–Riley is correct that we are not voting on the unicameral piece of Norris’ initiative, but I’ve never read where Norris felt that nonpartisan governance would work only in a unicameral legislature, and I don’t for a second believe that Norris would be anything but delighted by what we’re trying to do with Amendment V.

    That Riley apparently concludes that a nonpartisan primary would only be successful in a unicameral legislature is his opinion, but the justification that he gives: “The endeavor to balance the advantages and disadvantages of a nonpartisan unicameral is wrought with inconsistencies; a conclusion as to the justification and worth of the nonpartisan feature is elusive,” is word salad at its best. What the hell does that even mean? There might be a persuasive argument against nonpartisan governance (although I doubt it–does anyone believe that partisan governance is kicking ass these days?), but that sure isn’t it!

  29. @caheidelberger your math is off. When voters can vote in general elections for more than 2 and then that choice is reduced to two then that’s a reduction in choice. You still fail again to explain why you’re so resolved to reduce voter choice in general elections.

    2 is not an increase in choice, it’s an obvious reduction. You’re playing word games bordering on outright lying. It’s one whole option more than a dictatorship offers. And if SD indeed does forbid write ins then it’s especially awful, undemocratic and anti-voter choice.

    “we had two elections in a row where the only candidates for sheriff were Republicans”

    How absurd of you to claim that V fixes this when I have shown you proof of how Top 2 results in many Top elections with Top 2 being of the same party. Those 2 Republicans in Lake County could still wind up being Top 2. How embarrassing of you to use that as an example when I clearly showed you the proof that Top 2 results in many single party races. Add on the so-called nonpartisan element and then it will change into blind single party races.

    You repeal Repeal SDCL 12-20-21.2. I don’t live in SD. I live in CA where I see firsthand the aftermath of Top 2. Email me and I’ll send you photos of all of the Top 2 races on my ballot that are Top 2 races with 2 options of the same party.

    Amendment V takes away voter choice in general elections no matter how much you try to spin it.

  30. Want to learn more about how Top 2 reduces voter choice?

    Watch the following YouTube videos:

    Open Primary / Top 2 Voting Debate
    Open Primary / Top 2 Voting: The Awful Impact
    Open Primary Top 2 Voting Reduces Voter Choice
    Top 2 Voting Reduces Voter Choice! A Visual Explanation
    Open Primary / Top 2 Voting Reduces Voter Choice – Visual Proof
    How Open Primary / Top 2 Voting Deceives & Reduces Voter Choice

    I’d include the links but when I do they don’t show up.

  31. Jeff-NM2PS, my math is impeccable. You’re misportraying my statements by looking only at the general and not the overall electoral process.

    Right now in the primary, X GOP voters get to vote on A candidates. Y Dem voters and Z Ind voters get to vote on B candidates. In the general, (X+Y+Z+T) voters (T for small and thus non-primary third parties) get to vote on 1 GOP, 1 Dem, and C indy/3P candidates.

    Total choices in status quo:

    A+C+2 for X voters
    B+C+2 for Y+Z voters
    C+2 for T voters.

    Under V, all voters get to vote on all candidates in primary, then two candidates in the general. Total choices under V:

    A+B+C+2 for X+Y+Z+T voters.

    A+B+C+2 > A+C+2
    A+B+C+2 > B+C+2
    A+B+C+2 > C+2

    V gives more voters more choices.

  32. Darin Larson

    Cory with the math throw down and mike drop.

    Jeff, you say you don’t live in SD and you sound like you don’t live here. In SD too many Republican primary elections are a contest to see who can portray themselves as the most right-wing. Typically, the right wing candidate wins the Republican primary. Now, we get to the general election where the only choices are the right-wing Republican or a Democrat. Almost without exception, there is no third party candidate. Moderate Republicans, because of party loyalty, are not typically going to vote for a Democrat, so we end up electing a right-wing nut. This is true even though ultra conservatives are not a majority of the electorate.

    Now imagine V goes into effect and in the primary ultra conservatives are not a majority of the electorate. There is not the impetus for a Republican to portray themselves as the most right wing. Republicans can court the moderate vote as well. Now assume that two Republicans go to the general election as could frequently happen, the favorite should be the moderate Republican because moderate Republicans, all Democrats and all Independents outnumber ultra conservatives. Instead of having a plurality of right wingers electing right wing extremists to the legislature, we get a moderating influence in the primary and elect more moderate candidates in the general. The Republican leadership can quit pandering to the right wing and do what is best for SD.

    There is also a moderating effect on Democrats under V, but considering their lack of power currently, it is hardly worth noting.

    Third party candidates do not get elected to the SD legislature currently. Under V, however, the circumstances for their election are more likely to be in place. If they can make the top 2 in the primary, especially if Republicans and Democrats split their vote among too many candidates, then the third party candidate would have a platform to be taken seriously in the general election. They still have tremendous disadvantages to overcome such as a lack of party organization, a lack of party loyalty, and a lack of funding.

    Overall V would be good for democracy in SD and likely result in better policy decisions being made.

  33. Darin’s prose and my math combine nicely. Thanks, Darin!

    Darin’s point about Indy/3’s current success is SD is worth noting. Our best recent Indy/3 was the unique Larry Pressler, who still only managed 17% in the general. Libertarians Kurt Evans and John English both broke 20%, but only because they enjoyed binary races in which Dems fielded no candidate.

    Hey, wait a minute, look at Evans and English. When third party candidates manage to get a fair fight, one on one, against just one major party candidate and nobody else, they far outperform their counterparts (the other Lib noms, Santema and Reistroffer, who faced GOP and Dem nominees, scored 5.3% and 3.2%). None of the Libs waged serious campaigns with serious money (Santema and Evans spent $0). Practically speaking, in 2014, a “top two” situation by itself gave Libertarian candidates 4–5+ times as many votes as their counterparts on the same ballot.

    Top-two gives Indy/3 a shot at votes and publicity that they will almost never get under the current system. You really want to bust up the two-party system? You vote for V.

  34. drey samuelson

    Darin–you and Cory make a great team!

    If you happen to live in the SF area and want to get together for lunch or coffee sometime, just drop me a note at dreysamuelson3@gmail.com

  35. @caheidelberger You’re misportraying how Amendment V robs voters of choice in general elections as it reduces the options to only 2.

    Alt parties don’t do well there in SD as only a few of them will compete against Ds and Rs in your general election Congressional and state rep elections. Amendment V will only make it worse for the Greens, Libertarians, other alt parties and independents – especially if you remove party labels as this election cycle is boosting the visibility of alt parties in unprecedented ways.

    Sure, there’s an expansion of choice in for only the primary election – you know, the one most voters in your state don’t even participate in. But then the catch is a nonsensical tradeoff of reducing the ability for multiple choice general elections to only offering 2 options – two options with no write in. 2 options very likely to be the incumbents as we see in other states where Top 2 has ruined elections. 2 options that after the primary might be revealed to be terrible.

    No sir. You still fail to explain why you’re so against voters having multiple choice in their general elections.

    You’re advocating to taking away voters choice and that’s terrible for democracy.

  36. @Darin Larson Are you that bad at math too? As things are now, there are at least some 3-way races in your general election. Amendment V will take away voter choice reducing those general election races to only 2 options.

    Please explain to me how 2 is a greater quantity than 3?

    You have a lot of interesting theories using subjective words like “moderate” and “ultra conservative” but your theories don’t hold up to the evidence of how Top 2 where implement has resulted in solidifying most incumbents winning and it has killed of alt party options like Greens and Libertarians.

    If you dislike Republicans so much it’s bewildering to me why you would be so enthusiastic to support a plan that would result in many SD general election races only offering Top 2 Republicans.

    Don’t think it will happen?

    According to Ballotpedia:

    “Washington House of Representatives election, District 31a. Despite the fact that one Democratic candidate ran against two Republican candidates, the top-two primary system allowed for two Republican candidates to advance to the general election.”

    Way to shoot yourself in the foot Darin.

    Third party candidates do not get elected in states where Top 2 is in effect either. Take a look at Ballotpedia and tell me how many Greens or Libertarians got elected to Congress or state legislatures in California or Washington where top has been in effect for years now. Since you enjoy math so much, I’ll wait.

  37. Amendment V’s Top 2 aspect robs voters of the possibility of multiple choice contests in your state’s general elections. That’s anti-voter-choice and undemocratic.

    Amendment V’s Top 2 aspect will in-effect kill of 3rd/alternative parties as it has in California and Washington state.

    When proponents of Amendment V make nonsensical claims about Top’s impact on 3rd/alternative parties, all one needs to do is look at how the Greens and Libertarians opposed open primaries with a Top 2 aspect when it was on the ballot most recently in California then Arizona then Oregon.

    Proof – online search:

    California Alt Parties Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Against Top Two Only System

    California Minor Parties File Reply Brief in State Supreme Court in Lawsuit Against Top-Two System

    Oregon Greens: Vote NO on Measure 90 “Top Two” primaries

    Libertarian, Green parties: Prop 121 (AZ) would put us out of business

    “Warren Severin, chairman of Arizona’s Libertarian Party… and Angel Torres, co-chair of the state’s Green Party, argue that this system would make it nearly impossible for their candidates to advance into the general election…”

    Don’t be deceived by the wild theories of Amendment V supporters claiming this would help alt parties.

  38. Don Coyote

    @cah: Your “math”, such as it is, is fallacious. Your math can’t account for the increased chances of a double-bind choice which is really no choice at all. That is what Democrats are left with in a Top-2 election of two Republicans or Republicans left with a choice of two Democrats. Alternative or third party candidates will for the most part have no effect in the primary because of a lack of a base of voters and in campaign spending caused in part by a compressed election schedule.

  39. @Don Coyote Exactly. And if Amendment V removes party labels it does not change the fact that Citizen’s United still enables corporations and billionaires to fund the candidates of their choosing.

    Voters who want better elections should be focused on some type of ranked choice voting system that still allows for reps of all parties to be eligible candidates in general elections; ending Citizen’s United, demanding media be equal and inclusive to all options; and open debates – not falling for a Top 2 scheme that takes away voter choice like Amendment V would do.

  40. Darin Larson

    Jeff against the 2 party system says “If you dislike Republicans so much it’s bewildering to me why you would be so enthusiastic to support a plan that would result in many SD general election races only offering Top 2 Republicans. Don’t think it will happen?”

    I said that it would happen in my examples. I also do not dislike Republicans per se. Many of my friends and relatives are Republicans. It is Republican policies that I take issue with.

    If you want to change South Dakota governance, it will not be accomplished without changing the system that results in a plurality of voters electing hard right candidates when a majority of the electorate is more moderate.

    Pardon my direct response here, but it is time to cut to the chase: you seem to be living in a fantasy world while the rest of us are living in the real world of SD politics. 3rd parties have no effect on SD governance as it stands today. You as a 3rd party have nothing to lose in SD under Amendment V. Democrats have limited effect on governance. It is the Republican party that is governing this state. Therefore, a change that results in more moderate Republican candidates will result in the most positive change from my perspective.

    You have mentioned things like ending the effect of money in politics that is protected by Citizen’s United. We are on the same page regarding Citizen’s United, but it has nothing to do with Amendment V and the only way to do something about it is to elect HRC.

    I have explained why I think 3rd parties will have the occasional chance to do better in SD after Amendment V. You seem to assume that getting on the general election ballot is the ultimate goal. I assume that the ultimate goal is to win the general election. Otherwise, what is the point? You have not changed public policy unless you affect who is getting elected–not just who gets to have their name on the general election ballot.

  41. The problem I see here is similar to the problem with early filing deadlines, and the problem with party loyalty oaths, and the problem with binding convention delegates: It locks in electoral decisions seven months (or more) before the eventual winner takes office. A lot can change in seven months, and we’re making elections less responsive to those changes.

    It would make more sense to me to put the candidates all in the general election and use “instant runoff” ranked-choice voting to ensure that the winning candidate ends up with at least 50 percent. If a party wants to try to unite behind one candidate, it should figure out how to do that (and pay for it) on its own.

    Throwing out all but two options so far in advance strikes me as a very bad idea, partly because it dramatically increases the incentive for each candidate to spread lies about his or her opponent, but partly just because we may find out during the intervening months that we’ve stuck ourselves with two lousy choices.

  42. I, as a registered Independent, don’t get to vote for many races in my state. The democrats politely allow me to vote in their primary, but that is where it ends.

    With Amendment V, I would finally get a voice and be able to choose from a much larger number of candidates for the primary. During the general election, I’d still get the opportunity to decide who I like best from the choices offered. If that ends up being a choice between two Republicans or two Democrats so be it – if one party has both of the candidates who received the most votes it is safe to say that party dominates in that specific area and thus the opposition wouldn’t have had a chance in the general either way.

    How this results in less choice for me I’ll never understand. It is quite the opposite.

  43. @Darin Larson If you opt to shoot yourself in the foot so be it. If you want Democrat single party rule then move to CA.

    All you’ve offered is theories using subjective words like “moderate.” You also admit that Amendment V won’t to anything to address issues like Citizen’s United allows unlimited funds in campaigns.

    The point is protecting voter choice instead of limiting voter choice as you and Amendment V proponents want to so.

  44. @Kurt Evans Great points raised. Top 2 can certainly allow for a terrible top 2 – especially considering how few people in SD turnout for primary elections.

    Jill Stein’s campaign was unable to make it onto the ballot in SD due to the burdens of ballot access there.

    Do you have any insights on how hard or easy it is for candidates to attain ballot access there? Are the rules different for Ds and Rs, independents and write ins?

  45. Kurt hasn’t had much trouble making the ballot when he chooses to… so Jill Stein’s failure is upon Jill Stein. We have had third party candidates before and we will again. It isn’t the voter’s fault if someone is unable to collect enough signatures to find a place on the ballot.

    “Amendment V won’t to anything to address issues like Citizen’s United allows unlimited funds in campaigns.”

    Well this is true. Amendment V also won’t do anything about the rising cost of health insurance, the lack of adequate funding for our Veterans, or the major issue with the US not adopting the Metric system. I guess if you’re going to ask it to address all of our issues you may as well expand your horizons a bit.

    What Amendment V does do is give me a voice in our primaries which I currently lack. I think that is a good thing. You clearly disagree. Why do you want to limit my choices?

  46. @Craig You don’t understand how changing from allowing multiple options in general elections to taking away that choice and reducing it to only 2 is less choice? I’m stunned by such a bewildering comment.

    In November 2016 you have a few elections in your state with at least three options. If V passes then that will never happen again and the race will be between 2 options.

    2 is less than 3. Not sure how I could be any clearer than that.

    You’re making a needless trade-off of more choice in the primary for less choice in the general election.

    I am an independent (we have to call ourselves Decline to State on the ballot) here in CA too. I want more choice, not less choice.

    Why would you accept a needless trade-off? Why would you disregard the freedom of voter choice of Greens and Libertarians in general elections? And what happens when you have 2 races with 2 people of the same party (hiding as nonpartisan)? Just because they run as nonpartisan does not mean parties won’t recommend who to vote for to party followers. This will turn off voters from voting.

    Amendment V is anti-voter-choice.

  47. @Craig You’re the one callously disregarding voter choices of Greens, Libertarians, and party followers who could be left out when the Top 2 is among 2 of the same party. You care about your vote above the freedoms of others clearly.

    If Amendment V didn’t have the Top 2 aspect I would be indifferent to it. But I know very well Top 2 reduces voter’s choice.

    Amendment V is bad for democracy.

  48. Darin Larson

    Jeff, I like my theories and feel for SD politics better than your theories from California on SD politics. It is subjective. Your goal seems to be an assurance that a 3rd party candidate will always be on the general election ballot. My goal is to effect better policies for SD and my goal requires moderate politicians, not right wing ideologues. That is not shooting myself in the foot.

    Yes, I also admit that a South Dakota constitutional amendment is not going to change a US Supreme Court decision based upon the US constitution. I assume you will admit that the sun will come up in the East tomorrow. Amendment V does not have anything to do with either proposition.

  49. @Darin Larson Not subjective. I already outlined the evidence of the awful impact of Top 2 general elections.

    Meanwhile you want all SD to give up in their freedom to vote for multiple choices so you can indulge a fantasy about your subjective opinions about “moderate.”

    When voters learn how Amendment V takes away their choices to vote for multiple choice options they will reject this undemocratic plan just like they did in Oregon and Arizona.

  50. Don Coyote

    @craig: “What Amendment V does do is give me a voice in our primaries which I currently lack. I think that is a good thing. You clearly disagree. Why do you want to limit my choices?”

    That’s not true. No one is limiting your choices but you. The Democrats are so desperate for participation in their primary that any Independent is free to vote. As a (Libertarian leaning) Republican I don’t get to vote in the Democrats nominating process nor do I expect to. I don’t get to go to the Libertarian Convention and vote in their nominating process nor do I expect to. Why should the political process make an exception for you because you’ve chosen not to associate with a political party? That seems rather presumptive and arrogant of you.

  51. Darin Larson

    Jeff, if you don’t know what the terms moderate or conservative mean in general terms, then I can’t help you.

  52. @Darin Larson I know it’s a subjective word. People will not tolerate you telling them they should give up the option for multiple choices in November to appease your fantasies about who you deem moderate and not.

  53. Darin Larson

    Jeff, it seems you have the fantasy of V hurting 3rd parties in SD. You are in essence defending the status quo which has led to corruption, cronyism, and a disproportionate emphasis on the ultra conservative agenda compared to the views of the electorate as a whole. We have tried it your way without Amendment V and third parties are a bump on a bug’s behind in terms of impact in this state. In Donald Trump’s now infamous words, “what do you have to lose?”

    You make suggestions for change like overturning Citizen’s United which a SD constitutional amendment has no power to change. Your other suggestions are generally idealistic, but they are not in front of voters. Amendment V is in front of voters and we can do something right now about the status quo in SD. Do you think Coyote is against V because he thinks 3rd parties will be impacted? Do you think the Republican establishment is against V because 3rd parties will be impacted? No, they are afraid of upsetting their power structure which has ruled the world here. Here is a hint: when the powers that be are against V it isn’t because they are looking out for Democrats and Independents.

  54. Leading a group called No More 2 Party System is status quo? LOL Funny. Reducing voter choice is what the establishment likes to do. And that’s exactly what the Top 2 scheme aspect of Amendment V does – it takes away voter choice.

    I get it, you don’t think all people’s right to vote matters.

    All parties including the 2 major parties and the alt parties were against top 2 in California, Oregon, and Arizona. No, I don’t think Greens and Libertarians are trying to protect the establishment. That’s an embarrassing claim for you to make.

    But you’ve repeated yourself plenty now – you want to take away voters choice in general elections with the Top 2 scheme. Got it.

    Amendment V is undemocratic and that’s what you want.

  55. Darin Larson

    Jeff, you are some guy on the internet not even living in our state. I don’t believe you are correct. You don’t believe I am correct. But look at what the Republican establishment’s position on this is: They are against V. If V does what you say then why are the status quo Republicans against it?

    People don’t have to believe you or me, but the actions of the Republican establishment speak louder than any words.

  56. @Darin Larson It’s a shame then you’ve chosen to cling to the nutty idea of Top 2 which reduces voter choice and would wind up giving you elections that only offer Top 2 ultra conservative options. Top 2 was given to us in CA by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and typical Republican Abel Maldonado. So way to go for allying with those Republicans.

    And stop with the territorial nonsense. We’re all born on the earth equally. I care about voter choice for ALL people. You on the other hand, with callous indifference you think that it’s ok to take away voter choice with undemocratic Amendment V.

  57. Jeff-NM2PS says, “this election cycle is boosting the visibility of alt parties in unprecedented ways.” Horsehockey. Show me one alt party running better than Perot 1992.

  58. @caheidelberger Not a coherent reply.
    1) Perot was a billionaire independent – Stein and Johnson are not
    2) Perot was not around in the internet age
    3) Stein and Johnson are excluded from the debates

    Nonetheless, Clinton and Trump are so unfavorable that alt parties are getting more media coverage and more attention since Perot.

    Any more deflections from how Amendment V takes away voter choice?

  59. Amendment V ensures Republican domination for, well likely forever.

  60. What do I have to do to pry Jeff-NM2PS away from his constant false accusation that I’m against voters having more choices? Jeff seems to raise “general election” to some golden idol. He ignores the possibility of changing the mechanics of and attitudes toward elections.

    If Jeff really believes that maximal choice in general elections is sacred, then he should advocate getting rid of primaries completely. Why do we let the parties limit my choice this fall to Hillary Clinton and not let me vote for Bernie Sanders, or my neighbor’s choice to Donald Trump and not Ted Cruz and John Kasich? The current primary system takes away choice in the general election! Waaaaaaaah!

    Is that what you want, Jeff? Strike primaries completely, throw every candidate into a top-one jungle general, and pick Senator/Governor/sheriff by unthresholded (unthresheld?) plurality? After all, under Jeff’s professed principles, we can’t have a run-off election, because then that run-off becomes the real general, the general becomes a mere top-two primary, and that takes choice away from voters!

    Again, V sets up a fairer system: more voters get to cast more votes, and every elected official takes office with a majority mandate. Gee, Jeff, why can’t you explain why you are against majority rule?

  61. Jeff, 3 is greater than 2. We carry that 3 to the primary, and add it to the 2 in the general. % is greater than 3.

  62. @caheidelberger Come to terms with your delusion. “He ignores the possibility of changing the mechanics of and attitudes toward elections.” LOL. No. I clearly showed evidence based on what Top 2 has done to other states. You on the other hand offer only hypothetical fantasies ignoring that evidence as you fail to account for citizen’s united and media bias towards the dominate parties.

    “The current primary system takes away choice in the general election! Waaaaaaaah!”

    Well good luck winning over Amendment V support with that jackass attitude about the treasured freedom to vote and have voter choice.

    Get rid of primaries for a battle royal style general election? No argument here as long as there’s multiple options and representation of all various parties and independents.

    Amendment V is not majority rule when few people come out to primaries. Stop with the dishonesty.

    Stop with the deflections. Stop trying to take away people’s freedom to have multiple options in their general elections.

  63. Darin Larson

    Why don’t you answer my question about why the Republican establishment is against V?

  64. Severin and Torres miss the point when they contend that a system like V “would make it nearly impossible for their candidates to advance into the general election.”

    In policy debate, the Negative team can oppose an Affirmative plan by arguing a Disadvantage. To win, the Disadvantage must be unique to the plan and not happen in the status quo.

    Right now it’s “nearly impossible” for third parties to win the general election. Not advancing to the general produces the same result. The alt-party no-advance Disad is thus non-unique: impacts are no worse than what alt parties suffer in the status quo. Not “advancing” to the general is thus not a reason to vote against V.

    V offers a comparative advantage, as I’ve described previously but as general-blinded Jeff persistently ignores. Replay 2014 with a V primary in South Dakota. Suppose one million dollars buys enough TV to ensure a guy second place, but not first. One million dollars (or name recognition, smart campaigning, and motivated indies) has a lot more chance of helping Larry Pressler win second place in a V primary than winning first place in a status quo general. Give Pressler a chance to win second in a V primary, and he gets to advance to a general in which he faces just one challenger in a binary contest, and he has a better chance of not just advancing to the general but winning, which is what really matters here.

    If all you want to do is “advance” to the general, you’re rubbing the wrong idol. Real candidates want to win. V gives more candidates more of a chance to win. The gain may be from “nearly impossible” to “slim”, but that’s still a comparative advantage of V.

    No one gets to the Moon on a single-stage rocket. V offers Indy/3s a two-stage rocket. Achieve orbit in the primary, and V gives you a big boost to winning the general, a boost that does not exist in the status quo.

  65. Coyote, to call my math “fallacious”, you demand a value judgment about quality of candidates that is beyond the scope of lawmaking. We create a fair playing field. We give voters two shots at voting, once from the whole field, then in a run-off. V does not guarantee a double-bind. That’s up to the voters… and under V, it’s up to more voters.

    Your argument against V actually presumes the values that V is challenging. You seem to think that one Republican and one Democrat are always entitled to spots on the general election ballot, and that Democrats should always have a Democrat on the general election ballot to vote for. V says nuts to that: parties have no rights under the Constitution and deserve no special favors under election law. Candidates and voters do have rights, and V increases the opportunity to exercise those rights while implementing a fair run-off system.

  66. Jeff talks about a whole bunch of other reforms, some doable, but none reason to oppose V.

    Ranked choice voting? Sure, I’m game. But that’s not on the ballot, and until it is, V is an improvement over the status quo. Write me a bill, and I’ll incorporate ranked choice voting into the statues we right to implement the V primary. We’ll use RCV to pick our top two in the primary, then have a big general election.

    End Citizens United? Sure. Write us a ballot measure on that for 2018. But corporate money is a non-unique problem, and not a unique disadvantage of V.

    “demand media be equal and inclusive to all options”—what, you’re going to fine me if I don’t write equal numbers of articles about all seventeen GOP candidates, all five Dems, plus Gary Johnson and Jill Stein? How do you plan to enforce that under the First Amendment?

    Open debates: I love debates. I would love to have one here in District 3, but my opponent for State Senate has declined every invitation to a one-on-one forum. How do you force candidates to participate or media to host if they don’t want to?

    Assuming we can get every media outlet to invite every candidate and get every candidate to show up, we then face the challenge of holding an intelligent and coherent discussion with multiple candidates clamoring for mic time. More than two opposing speakers on the stage gets messy fast. Unless you want to adopt my debate tournament format, you’re not going to get an instructive, inclusive debate… and that’s still not a reason to oppose V.

  67. Kurt, if it helps, I’ll support moving primary day in South Dakota to the second Tuesday in September.

  68. @Darin Larson

    Why don’t you address why Top 2 (which is a huge part of Amendment V) was advocated by people like Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and typical Republican Abel Maldonado?

    If it’s so great for change why does alt party icon Ralph Nader oppose it?

    Why did the Greens and Libertarians oppose it in CA, AZ, and OR?

    This is not about Republicans in SD. This is about arrogant people like you thinking you should be able to play god with elections and reduce voter choice so you can indulge in fantasy outcomes that evidence shows is not going to happen. Apparently you know better than the SD voters who vote in the present crop of Republicans and you know better than the Greens, Libertarian, and independents who don’t want to vote for Ds or Rs – riiiiiiiiiight.

    Funny thing is if this undemocratic amendment passes karma can give you what you deserve by enabling elections in your state that could have 2 of the types of Republicans on your ballot (hidden as nonpartisan).

    Republicans are reaping that karma here in CA since the Top 2 race for Senate is offers only two Democrats.

    Since you dislike choice so much you should really move to 1-party rule California.

    Amendment V reduces voter choice and you desperately find every deflection you can to avert attention from that fact.

  69. Craig’s right: V gives him more choice. Jeff, why are you so against giving Craig more choice? (That’s me, playing Jeff’s word game. Good grief, how tedious!)

  70. Jeff, you said “unprecedented.” Perot is a precedent for indy/3 getting even more press attention than Johnson and Stein today. So is Fighting Bob LaFollette, who was way before the Internet Age.

    But if the Internet can help Johnson and Stein organize and get attention, then they can use that technology to organize and get attention in the primary season. If good Web organizing and campaigning can win our next Larry Pressler 50,000 votes, those Web-won votes will go further toward winning neo-Pressler second place in June (or September, as I just promised Kurt!) than toward winning first in November. V+Web=better chances for Indy/3 to WIN.

    See? That’s not a deflection; that’s a turn right back to the main issue, which you can’t win, because you ignore all the strategic opportunities of the primary season.

  71. What’s on the ballot is anti-voter-choice Amendment V.

    You don’t like your state leaders in SD so instead of promoting voter choice you opt to support a Top 2 scheme that reduces choice to retaliate against your fellow voters who elected the reps you have – which you in your hunger for power you ignore has a big chance of coming back to bit you in the butt when you get Top 2 options of the types of outcomes you don’t like.

    “How do you force candidates to participate or media to host if they don’t want to?” Instead of going on with nonsensical Top 2 schemes, try to pass a law in SD that requires candidates participate in debates. You have age and residency requirements I’m sure. Make a debate requirement.

    It’s amazing how many excuses you have why other ideas won’t work easily but despite overwhelming evidence from CA and WA, you cling to the Top 2 delusion.

    I think your campaign slogan should be: I want to reduce your voter choice. Vote for me!

  72. Grudz, your imagination is far too limited. V isn’t about any one party’s domination. I’d even suggest to Jeff-NM2PS that V is a step toward helping Indy/3 break two-party domination. But he’s now too busy writhing in pain and shouting “delusion” and “jackass” under the crushing grip of South Dakota fact and logic (side note: he still can’t touch my empirical evidence for my V-boosts-Indy/3 theory in the English and Evans successes in their binary races in 2014) to acknowledge the strategic opportunities V offers toward his purported goal.

  73. @caheidelberger Sorry, I am more interested in preserving multiple voter choice in general elections than indulging in your Top 2 scheme to retaliate against your fellow voters who voted in the politicians you don’t like by imposing anti-voter-restrictions on everyone else.

  74. Amidst his angry outburst, Jeff at least admits he’s fine with “a battle royal style general election… as long as there’s multiple options and representation of all various parties and independents.”

    V offers multiple options. V offers all parties and indies a chance to run and a chance to vote. In the primary, the first big vote. V shifts the paradigm: the “primary” is no longer a pair of limited party affairs with different ballots for different voters and no ballots for many; the “primary” is back to its literal meaning, the “first” vote, but now a shared event for all candidates and voters. When Jeff admits that, this whole argument seems to collapse into nothing more than a quibble over what day we do it (June 7 or November 8) and whether we decide the final winner by the instant, virtual runoff of ranked choice voting or a real, “back to the polls, everyone!” run-off between the two strongest candidates.

    Jeff’s preferred system looks a lot like V, just on a different day and with a different final decision mechanism. Jeff, through RCV, has a computer decide. V, with two votes, has voters decide both times. Hmm… who’s giving more voters more opportunities to choose, again?

  75. @caheidelberger “I’d even suggest to Jeff-NM2PS that V is a step toward helping Indy/3 break two-party domination.”

    And yet the Greens and Libertarians opposed in and then sued about it in CA in addition to opposing it in OR and AZ.

    When I debate you I can’t get that “Why You Always Lying” Vine meme song out of my head.

  76. Ah, now the new focus-grouped propaganda term, “retaliate against your fellow voters.” Again, rubbish.

    Republicans in South Dakota retaliated against voters by passing Referred Laws 19 & 20. They are resisting voter power by fighting IM 22, Amendment T, and Amendment V. Jeff, if you really want to break up the two-party system, you drop your slogans (and drop your constant false branding of V supporters) and help us pass the reform trifecta on South Dakota’s ballot this year, including Amendment V.

  77. @caheidelberger As much as I think the Ds and Rs are failed parties, I would not want to take away Democratic and Republican voters right to vote for them and to have the option to have a representative of their party appear on their ballot. I am sorry you don’t like your reps. I don’t lie mine either. But that does not make me want to take away other voters’ right to have choices.

    No thanks to anti-democratic Amendment V.

  78. Darin Larson

    Jeff from California, I know why you don’t support V. You want third parties to have their automatic yearly appearance on the general election ballot where they invariably lose. Why should a candidate that can’t get 5% of the vote appear on the general election ballot? Yes, I understand why 3rd parties are against V if your only goal is to be on the general election ballot. If that is your idea of relevance, than so be it. I didn’t realize that your only goal was to appear on the general election ballot and that is not a concern of mine admittedly.

    Once again you have not answered my question concerning why the Republican establishment is against V? I think this question carries a lot of weight, but you keep avoiding it by deflection. Actions speak louder than words.

    If your goal is to effect real progressive change, then you would be concerned about who is winning elections in SD–whether they are ultra conservatives or moderates or liberals. But you only seem to care about party politics. You are for your party and against the two major parties. You think your ox is being gored, but in truth all party oxen are being gored by V.

    This is ultimately about issues for me. You don’t care about issues. You care about party. You think V hurts your party. You are entitled to your opinion.

  79. Jeff, what is your party?

    Darin, I’m with you. I don’t want to appear on the general election ballot. I want to win the general election. If I bolt the SDDP and launch a Green Party, I will have much more fun working the V primary system than trying to break through the barriers of the rigged GOP/Dem-guaranteed general election. Put my new party in the crowd, let us fight for the great privilege of the one-on-one run-off.

    Jeff appears also to live in a fantasy world where campaign money goes away. Campaign money matters. In the V primary, big money is divided among and aimed at competing party candidates. The V primary gives the smart indy/3 the chance to play Mike Rounds 2002. In the V general, money than has to coalesce. If Indy/3 can win second in the V primary, Indy/3 then faces only one candidate. Those who hate that candidate will have no choice but to give Indy/3 their money, money that Indy/3 would never see in the status quo where Big Money is guaranteed two mainstream party choices.

    Again, V increases the chances of an Indy/3 breakthrough.

  80. Democrats and Republicans lose no rights under V. Being one of the top two candidates is a privilege we earn by campaigning our hearts out and winning votes. Under V, we all get to be on the ballot and face all voters in the primary. We candidates then have to prove ourselves to the voters and earn our spots in the runoff. That system is entirely democratic, with all choices made by the people. Having choices made by an arbitrary statute is anti-democratic.

  81. Don Coyote

    @cah: “Write me a bill, and I’ll incorporate ranked choice voting into the statues we right to implement the V primary. We’ll use RCV to pick our top two in the primary, then have a big general election.”

    What????? Why on God’s green Earth would you need a run-off election when the intent of a RCV is to eliminate the necessity of holding runoff elections? You’re so busy cooking up sophistical spaghetti to throw at the wall that your argument has devolved into gibberish.

  82. @Craig You don’t understand how changing from allowing multiple options in general elections to taking away that choice and reducing it to only 2 is less choice? I’m stunned by such a bewildering comment.

    In November 2016 you have a few elections in your state with at least three options. If V passes then that will never happen again and the race will be between 2 options.

    2 is less than 3. Not sure how I could be any clearer than that.”

    There is more to democracy than a sheer number of names on a ballot. Sure we can have three or four names instead of two, but the end result won’t change. The most popular candidate wins, and I don’t recall a time in South Dakota history where one of those secondary candidates had an impact upon the general election. Thus in principle you have more choices, but in practice you still end up with one of two choices.

    The truth remains – I, as an Independent, cannot vote in most primaries. I may feel a specific Republican is an excellent choice to represent my interests, but if there is a primary between six choices, I currently can vote for none of them. However, with Amendment V, I’d get to choose not only from those six, but from the total list of candidates which could be 10 or more.

    10 is more than 0 right Jeff? Amendment V offers me choice. Amendment V is good for Democracy.

    Also, Amendment V would remove some of the party-switching antics that some groups have organized in an attempt to sway the general by stacking the deck. Remember that there have been times when someone like Rush Limbaugh pushed “Operation Chaos” which tried to push voters into using their vote to manipulate the primary of the opposing party. With Amendment V this would be a non-issue because regardless of party you are still voting for the candidate you feel is in the best position to lead. If you vote for a candidate you feel has no chance of winning in an effort to sway the final result, you therefore forfeit your vote for the candidate you actually support.

    Amendment V solves this. It is good for REAL democracy.

  83. DC: “Why should the political process make an exception for you because you’ve chosen not to associate with a political party? That seems rather presumptive and arrogant of you.”

    I never asked for an exception – I’m talking about more choices. I am an Independent specifically because one party does not represent me. One party doesn’t have all the answers or solutions, and one party doesn’t have all of the best candidates. I have voted for Democrats and I have voted for Republicans. In fact I’ve even voted for third party candidates. Locking me into a single party limits my choices and limits me to a subset of candidates.

    I don’t want exceptions – I want representation. Right now I am not represented because regardless of which party I am a member of I am only allowed to vote for a portion of the possible choices.

    Maybe for you a party is a perfect choice because it aligns with each and every one of your views. However we are all different, and no single party does a great job of representing me thus Amendment V would be a step in the right direction to giving me a true voice and a true choice.

    Amendment V offers me more choices. Not less. That is good for democracy.

  84. Darin Larson

    Well said Craig. The process in getting to the top 2 candidates is more important than the number of candidates in the general election in my opinion.

  85. Coyote, if RCV is good for picking one, why can’t it be good for picking two? V + RCV offers even more choice than a one-shot RCV election. Put them all on the primary ballot, and give people even more choices: instead of just picking one, you get to pick your #2, your #3, etc. You get to say, “Golly, I really like Pressler and Weiland, I could live with Rhoden, but under no circumstances do I want Bosworth in office.” RCV allows voters to convey far more information about their will.

    But then, instead of stopping the election right there, if we use RCV to decide a top-two primary, we then give voters an additional chance to vote in a very different campaign dynamic. Suppose our RCV V-primary produces Pressler and Rounds as our top two. Maybe Rounds, Weiland, and Nelson spent all their primary time attacking each other, while Pressler kept his nose clean, shook lots of hands, and won the nostalgia and John Deere vote. The top-two Rounds vs Pressler campaign no puts the candidates in a different light and produces new information that will make voters rank Pressler and Rounds differently from how they ranked in the primary. RCV + V provides more choice by a more informed electorate.

    This isn’t sophistry—this is an honest look at what we might be able to achieve with the options before us. Pass V, implement RCV to narrow the big field, but still give voters that one-on-one campaign so they can make the final choice. Sounds smart and democratic to me, maximizing voter input.

  86. “No More 2 Party System” asks me:

    Do you have any insights on how hard or easy it is for candidates to attain ballot access there [in South Dakota]? Are the rules different for Ds and Rs, independents and write ins?

    Yes and yes. For starters: (1) South Dakota doesn’t recognize write-in votes at all. (2) When I ran for the U.S. House as an independent candidate in 1996, the filing deadline was in August. Since then the Republican legislature has arbitrarily moved up that deadline at least three times. It’s now long before the party primaries. (3) A Constitution Party candidate for governor, U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator needs nominating signatures from more than half of the party’s nearly 500 members scattered across the state, and the last time I checked (2013), the secretary of state’s office was charging $2500 for an emailed list of those members.

    Craig writes:

    Kurt hasn’t had much trouble making the ballot when he chooses to…

    Actually it’s been quite a bit of trouble, especially in 1996.

    It isn’t the voter’s fault if someone is unable to collect enough signatures to find a place on the ballot.

    It is if the voter has helped to elect legislators who support South Dakota’s immoral ballot-access restrictions.

    Cory writes:

    Kurt, if it helps, I’ll support moving primary day in South Dakota to the second Tuesday in September.

    Throwing out all but two options in September would be an improvement over throwing out all but two options in June, but I’d still prefer to keep all options available until November and use ranked-choice voting to ensure that the winning candidate ends up with at least 50 percent.

    Republicans in South Dakota retaliated against voters by passing Referred Laws 19 & 20.

    Regardless of whether retaliation was their motive, Republicans who supported RL 19 have definitely forfeited the moral high ground from which to oppose Amendment V.

  87. Kurt, I’ll support moving primary day to second Tuesday in September and moving all petition deadlines (nominating, initiative, and referendum) to June 30. I’ll even support repealing write-in restrictions, as long as we’re all cool with election results taking much longer to post on election night as county auditors pull their ballots out of the electronic counters and eyeball every ballot for all of our stray marks. (Hmm… I assume we can get scanners that would at least recognize stray marks outside the bubbles and set those ballots aside for human review?)

    Does RCV really guarantee that a candidate gets 50%+1? I understand the concept, but it seems RCV winners in large fields get a mathematical mandate from a combination of people who say, “I can stand them being in office if my first choices don’t win”, not a majority of the vote. Just being picky, but there’s a difference between saying, “The Governor won by a majority” and “The Governor won by a formula.”

    Kurt is right that, in a democracy, problems are our fault. But whatever the rules, candidates still need to do the work.

    Oh! in terms of ballot access, let’s not forget that V makes the petition rules the same for all candidates! Same signature requirements, necessarily the same date… and as I’m thinking about it, we could make a case that if we’re having a nonpartisan primary, we’ll need to move to nonpartisan ballots, just as we do in city and school board elections, allowing any voter to sign any candidate’s petition. No more sorting that circulation list by party; just knock on doors until you hit the threshold (plus 50%)!

  88. @Darin Larson You don’t get to take away voters’ choice just because you have a problem with the Republican establishment. Amendment V will not help you with that grievance. I don’t care about Ds or Rs position on Amendment V. I care about how it robs voters of multiple choice options and hurts alt parties. You know very well Greens and Libertarians don’t want to protect establishment Ds or Rs so pretending that Amendment V helps alt parties is disingenuous.

    You don’t get to take away voters’ choice just because you deem alt parties appearance on general election ballots irrelevant.

    The issue I care most about here is voter choice and you want to play god and take away other voter’s choice in your misguided effort to make your state better.

    Get the word out about how you and the Amendment V crowd want to take away voter choice and just like in OR and AZ you will lose.

  89. @Craig Nope. Reducing voter’s choices in general elections is not good for democracy. But good luck telling your fellow SD they should accept less choice in general elections to appease you.

  90. @Kurt Evans This just shows how Ds and Rs create laws to in-effect kill of alt party options and independents. Amendment V is just another anti-democratic, anti-voter-choice effort to reduce voter choices.

  91. Darin Larson

    Jeff, by your logic we should just let everybody who is not a convicted felon fill out a form and be on the general election ballot. Anything less is an affront to democracy in your paradigm. You don’t want to limit voter choice do you? Why should the choices be limited to party members? You don’t get to take away people’s choice just because John Doe isn’t a member of your 3rd party or another party. Please quit trying to limit people’s choices to only recognized parties.

    And there shouldn’t be any deadlines to get on the ballot. Deadlines are just a way to limit voter choice and thus Democracy. We could easily have electronic ballot boxes that could add candidates up until voting ceases in the general election on November 8 at 7 pm central time. People could add themselves via an app on their phone to compete for an elected office at any time until voting closes. If you are not on board with this, then you simply are against voter choice and are harming democracy itself.

  92. Troy Jones

    Question for the Independent Voters on here:

    Would you prefer Independent candidates appear on the General Election Ballot or Primary Ballot?

    Under current law, Independent candidates show up on the General Election and only have to participate in one election (the general).

    If this passes, Independent candidates have to compete in the Primary and likely not be on the General Election Ballot (when most people vote) unless they can finish in the top two (meaning likely the Democrat will not be on the General). And, then they have to compete in the General Election.*

    * Competing in two elections vs. one will not be easier or better for Independent candidates as they don’t have infrastructure to raise money or organize GOTV efforts. Thus, I find the assertion this is good for electing independents balderdash.

    P.S. Did you realize that in the last primary, Lora Hubbel came within 1,100 votes of Susan Wismer in the Primary? Can you imagine how you’d feel if the General Election for Governor had been Dauguard and Hubbel? Not to mention in 1994, the top two vote getters in the primary for Governor were Janklow and Miller. Democrats would haven’t had anyone in the General.

    What pressure on Democrat financial resources would HAVING to run every state-wide candidate in both a primary and general would do to your chances?

  93. @Darin Larson Stop deflecting. This has nothing to do with felons, deadlines, electronic ballot boxes or whatever other distractions you need to avert attention from how you want to take away voter’s freed to have multiple choice options in general elections. There’s no justification for expanding choice for some at the cost of taking away choice for the others. It’s selfish.

    As I mentioned before, if Amendment V didn’t have the undemocratic Top 2 aspect I would not take issue with it.

    After the Top 2 scheme lost in AZ and OR it looks like ope n primary proponents in Colorado wised up and din’t include a Top 2 aspect in their open primary ballot measure that’s also up for a vote in November. The open primary proponents in your state should have done the same instead of attacking voter’s freedom to choose in BOTH the primary and also the general election.

    Despite you attempts at spin and defections, Amendment V remains takes away voter’s freedom to have multiple choices in general elections and is therefore bad for democracy.

  94. Darin Larson

    Jeff, you have revealed yourself not to be about people’s voting rights. You are all about your party rights.

    Who is deflecting? You are. You don’t really want everybody to have a chance to vote on everything. You just want your folks to be guaranteed to be in the general election. Quit using democratic principles as your rallying cry when you are really rallying the troops for your party. That is your only goal here.

  95. @Darin Larson Stop with resorting to lies Darin. It’s not my fault SD has a closed primary. As much as I dislike the 2 party system I support the rights of both Democrats and Republicans to have representative options on the general ballot too – and Top 2 has stolen that right in a very important Senate race here in CA.

    It is you who wants to retaliate at other voters for SD’s closed primary by thinking you’re entitled to take away your fellow voter’s right to have multiple options in the general election .

  96. Darin Larson

    Jeff, you still haven’t answered the question: do you support changing the law so that any qualified candidate can be on the general election ballot irrespective of whether they are affiliated with a party or not?

  97. @Darin Larson Stop averting attention with irreverent distractions. Top 2 is on the ballot with Amendment V and I oppose that aspect of Amendment V and therefore oppose Amendment V since it takes away voters’ ability to have multiple candidate options in general elections.

  98. Darin Larson

    Once again, if you are not for having all candidates on the general election ballot, then you are hardly the person to lecture us in SD on democratic principles. You are acting out of a sense of loyalty to your 3rd party, not voters. Democracy will have a chance to flourish when V is enacted. Let’s talk policy, not party.

  99. @Darin Larson No sir. My loyalist is to all voters having multiple choice.

    Even though I am not a fan of the Republican Party, I support the right of registered Republicans to vote for who they want. I think it’s awful that Top 2 has resulted in a CA Senate race with the Top 2 being two Democrats. This robs Republican, Green, Libertarian, other alt party supporters, and independents who don’t want to vote democrat of having an option to vote for in this election.

    So good luck in your red state trying to convince the Republicans that they should put themselves in a position where they too could wind up with some single party Top 2 general election races.

    Amendment V robs voters of democracy by needlessly reducing multiple choice options in general elections to only Top 2.

  100. Yet those choices don’t disappear: we move them and offer them to more voters in the primary. My math stands: V increases choice and choosers.

  101. @caheidelberger You mean the low turnout primary? If multiple choice is good enough for the primary then it’s also good enough for the November general election.

    I repeat: Amendment V robs voters of democracy by needlessly reducing multiple choice options in general elections to only Top 2.

  102. You repeat your errors, primarily your assumption that the future looks like the past. Low turnout in primaries may be what happens in today’s closed and less consequential primaries, but it’s not required. We give more voters more choices. Those choices include not showing up to vote. I can’t make people show up and vote, but I can give them more chances to vote. When voters realize the V-primary matters, they may well choose to participate more. I will certainly encourage them to do so.

  103. @caheidelberger Incorrect again. I cite evidence based on the impact of Top 2 in CA and WA. You on the other hand repeat your hypotheticals not supported by evidence.

    You have no valid reason for thinking you’re entitled to take away voters’ freedom to have multiple choice options in general elections.

    I repeat: Amendment V robs voters of democracy by needlessly reducing multiple choice options in general elections to only Top 2.

  104. You cite correlation, not causation. You cite no intent to reduce choice. You refute none of the plain fact that V by itself offers more choice. Why blame V for the choice many California voters have apparently made not to participate?

  105. @caheidelberger It only expands choice in the primary but needlessly reduces choice from allowing multiple choice in general elections to only a Top 2. 2 is less than more than 2. We’ve already been over this.

    I repeat: Amendment V robs voters of democracy by needlessly reducing multiple choice options in general elections to only Top 2.

  106. Yawn. V does not reduce choice. It moves choice and opens choice to more voters. See my formulas above. Jeff NM2PS cannot defeat math by repeating his slogans. To repeat is not to rebut. You have lost. Please come back with new analysis, not mere repetition of the points you have failed to defend.

  107. @caheidelberger And to mislead and offer nonsensical hypercritical is just your deflection from how the Top 2 aspect Amendment V robs voters of democracy by needlessly reducing multiple choice options in general elections to only Top 2.

    Truth is worth repeating in the face of people like you who want to take away voters’ general election choice because you want to retaliate against the Republicans you dislike.

  108. “People like me”—again, no new analysis, just ad hominem hokum. Amendment V is not about retaliation or anything personal. Like my support for Amendment T and my opposition to Referred Law 19, my support for Amendment V is about creating a fairer election system that gives more South Dakota voters more opportunities to choose their elected officials.

    Swing through Aberdeen sometime, Jeff NM2PS—maybe we can get past your insistence on demonizing people (I don’t think I’ve questioned Jeff’s motives; he was certainly the first to go for that) and hash this out face to face.

  109. @caheidelberger I can’t respect someone who wants to take away voter’s ability to have multiple choice options in their general election. I cannot respect the dishonesty you exhibit by pretending you’re not taking away choice by reducing options to only 2.

  110. Darin Larson

    Jeff, Cory extends an olive branch and you slap it away. Did you by chance graduate from the Trump University school of business etiquette? You stopped talking about the issues on this subject quite a while ago. Your personal attacks are uncalled for and simply undermine your efforts to have your arguments taken seriously. If you are just here to sling mud, I think you should find a different sandbox to play in.

  111. mike from iowa

    One trick pony.

  112. mike from iowa

    One trick pony. Broken record, maybe.

  113. See? We can’t just talk about different approaches to policy. Jeff has to make it about not being able to respect me personally, even though he doesn’t know me and I don’t know him, and then repeating his disproven tagline.

    I respect voters. I support policies to empower voters. I am running for South Dakota Senate to protect voters’ current rights and expand their way to participate.

  114. @Darin Larson Sure bring up Trump since Top 2 proponents always need irrelevant diversions.

    I am sorry you feel being stood up to for wanting to take away voter’s right to have multiple choice options in general elections is so unconformable to you.

    There’s no olive branch in trying to take away the precious right to vote from people and that’s what the Top aspect of Amendment V does.

  115. Again, wrong. Amendment takes away no one’s right to vote. V guarantees that every registered voter gets to vote twice, in the primary and the general, whereas the current system offers that guarantee only once, in the general. Under V, everyone votes in the primary, and everyone votes in the general. Or at least they can, if they choose to. I’m happy to lead the horses to water. I’m happy to set out more water for them. It’s up the horses to drink.

  116. That was my original point – V would allow me far greater choice than I have today. There may be times when I prefer a Republican candidate yet currently I’m unable to vote for them. Likewise there are times when I don’t like either of the major party candidates and would like to vote for the third party – yet today I cannot do so, and historically speaking many of those candidates won’t make the general election so they effectively disappear.

    Jeff equates less choice in the general election to less choice overall. I disagree. I believe the overwhelming number of choices in the primary in addition to the choices in the general would far surpass the total number f choices we have today. Thus V would give me more choice – not less.

  117. @caheidelberger The Top 2 aspect of Amendment V indeed takes away a right to vote for multiple choice options in general elections. In those elections in SD that offer a 3rd or 4th choice or more – you take away those general election choices from people who may want to vote outside the 2 party system.

    You can’t argue the facts of math. We’ve gone over this already. 2 is less than more than 3, 4,…

  118. @Craig We’ve been over this too. There’s a needless trade-off of expanded open primary election choice (the election that most voters don’t vote in) for reducing voters’ choice form the ability to have multiple choice general election options to only Top 2 – which could be of the same party (even if they’re listed as nonpartisan) with no write in options.

    I cannot condone taking away multiple choice options for general election voters for more choice for the fewer general election voters.

    Amendment V should have allowed for the top voter earner of each party as well as any Top 3 independents to advance to the general election. In that case you’d have multiple choice options in both elections.

    As it remains, the Top 2 aspect of Amendment V is undemocratic.

  119. And Jeff persists in wearing blinders. He looks only at November 8 and cries, “Oh, no! Only two choices!” He refuses to acknowledge that the multiple choices he thinks he’s lost he still has, along with several choices he did not have before, on June 7. My math stands: V means more choices for more voters in every election year.

    If candidates don’t like the new sequencing of these expanded choices for the expanded pool of choosers, then candidates will need to adapt and prove their vote-worthiness in the primary.

  120. @caheidelberger Again all you have is hypothetical already disproved by Top’s 2 impact on WA and CA. You cannot offer a coherent reason for why you want to take away voters’ freedom to have multiple choice options in general elections.

  121. Jeff-NM2PS, I tire of your constant repackaging of my statements in your false slogan.

    Your empirical examples do not refute my math. Washington and California are offering more voters more chances to vote, with more total choices in their election-year voting. Your empirical data only shows that many people, for some reason, are choosing not to exercise that expanded choice, not that the laws passed to open the primaries have taken away that choice.

  122. @caheidelberger Laughable nonsense. You want to really pretend like the CA race of Top 2 being 2 Democrats does not leave Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, other alt parties and other alt party supporters, and independents who don’t want to vote for Democrats with no one to vote for in an important Senate race?

    Stop with the nonsense.

  123. Those voters still get the same number of opportunities to vote for those candidates in the V primary. Choice is not reduced when you look at the big picture. Folks need to get out and exercise that choice whenever it is available.

    V even makes that choice more viable. Right now a lot of people who might want to vote for an indy/3 candidate in the general hesitate to do so because they are afraid of throwing away their vote. Put indy/3 in a V primary, and voters know they aren’t throwing away their vote: they can support the longshot indy/3 and see if maybe she/he comes out in the top two. Heck, a Larry Pressler may still get the 17% he would have gotten in the general, plus 5%–10% who would have balked at an indy/3 vote in November but are willing to take that chance in June, and that extra margin could put Pressler over the top with one other candidate for the general. If Pressler makes the general, great! Those bold indy/3 voters get to vote for him again (more choice, more times)! If Pressler doesn’t those indy/3 voters still get another crack at picking the final winner.

    See? Once again, V increases opportunities for meaningful choice.

  124. @Nope. Do you deny that the Top 2 aspect of Amendment V changes the elections in SD from enabling voters to have the potential to pick from multiple choice options down to only 2 options with no write in option?

  125. I deny it, because you continue to put on blinders to create a false impression. You keep groaning about Top Two and ignoring that it works in conjunction with the open nonpartisan primary. It’s like saying I’m cutting access to the public library by closing the library three hours earlier on Friday while ignoring the fact that I’m extending the library’s hours an hour each night Monday through Thursday and opening the library on Saturday.

  126. @caheidelberger No – it’s like saying you’re taking away voters’ freedom to have multiple choice options in general elections since that’s exactly what the top 2 aspect of Amendment V does. I am sure SD voters are smart enough to see though your dishonesty.

  127. DIshonest? I am lying to no one. Stick with the facts and the arguments on the page, not these persistent resorts to personal attacks.

    Jeff NM2PS fails again and again to refute the main point of the my rebuttal, that he is putting on blinders, looking only at what happens on the final day of the election season and refusing to acknowledge the net gains in choices and eligible choosers that V offers throughout the election process.

  128. @caheidelberger If you’re so sensitive about being called out for being dishonest then the solution is simple: stop being dishonest.

    I asked you “Do you deny that the Top 2 aspect of Amendment V changes the elections in SD from enabling voters to have the potential to pick from multiple choice options down to only 2 options with no write in option?”

    You replied: “I deny it.” You might be dishonest like a typical politician but the math is not.

    Amendment V is undemocratic in general elections and no amounting of repeating a lie that it does not ultimately reduce voter choice is absurd and will be called out.

  129. Every time someone has called me dishonest on this blog, it has turned out the person making the accusation is being dishonest. Every time. Any journalistic entity whose reputation depends on honesty and integrity is rightfully “sensitive” (i.e., attentive, responsive) to such false accusations.

    My math is honest.

    My denial of your narrow, word-gamed argument is honest.

    Amendment V is democratic in elections in giving more voters more choices. Amendment V ultimately increases voter choice.

  130. @caheidelberger The freedom to have more than 2 needlessly dwindling down to strictly only 2 is not more, it’s less. I’ve heard of climate denier. Now I’m witness a math denier. Amazing.

    Back to your library analogy: You didn’t need to needlessly reduce hours in November when more people are present to accommodate the fewer people who show up in June.

    If you want to serve both crowds then you’d extend the hours in June (even though there’s still less turnout) and leave the November hours as is.

  131. Jeff NM2PS again ignores the fact that we are not locked into a status quo where closed primaries correlate with low turnout. We create more opportunities to vote; more people can come vote in the primaries, and everyone can still vote in the general. I don’t have to guarantee what will happen empirically; I never made such a claim. V gives more people more choices. Whether they take advantage of those choices is up to them.

  132. @caheidelberger or anyone – as things are now, do independents there have to be in the primary to be in the general election? How does that work since party candidates compete among themselves.

    Thanks.

  133. You know the answer to the indy question, as we’ve addressed it above, and I’ve included it in my unrefuted math. Right now, indies petition, can submit a month later, and go straight to the general election ballot. V puts indy/3 on same primary ballot as GOP and Dems. Under V, indies would find themselves competing with everyone else, just as Republicans and Dems would find themselves competing not just with their own party members but with everyone else.

    And every voter gets to vote on that unified and expanded primary ballot, thus choosing the two candidates who will make the general election ballot.

  134. Too bad the good of the open primary idea is ruined by the anti-voter choice Top 2 aspect of V. Not only does it remove voter’s freedom to have multiple choice options in general elections – it’s a redundant waste. If voters can already vote for ANY candidate in June then there’s no need to repeat in November.

  135. So to be clear: Jeff NM2PS concedes that the open primary idea is good.

    Now we simply focus on nebulous moral quantification. Actually, let’s just focus on whether Top 2 is good or bad.

    We would do Top 2 in a current primary in which no candidate got 35%. Is Top 2 in that case bad?

    Other states do Top 2 as a runoff if the general is too close. Is Top 2 in that case bad?

    I will agree that a general election after a V primary might be redundant if it played out like the 2014 GOP primary and gave one candidate a majority vote. If a candidate emerges from a V primary with 55% of the vote while the other four candidates don’t break out of the teens, haven’t the voters made clear their choice? I’m open to amending V to allow for a majority winner of the primary to automatically be named the winner of the general and cancel the November vote. If the majority will is made clear, then yes, why bother?

    But I am open to V as it is and arguments that would say, by tradition, we decide our elections in November, so why not give a second-place finisher in a V primary the chance to work hard through the fall (remember, I also want to move our V primary to mid-August or the day after the State Fair!) and win the confidence of the voters in a one-on-one contest with the frontrunner? What does it hurt to have that choice… which choice-obsessed Jeff NM2PS strangely dismisses as redundant?

    Voters lose no freedom from a V primary followed by a contest of the Top 2 in the general. They have the freedom to vote for their favorite candidate in the primary, which they currently might not get to do if their favorite candidate is not a member of their party. They then get to vote again with choices reset to the Top 2 vote getters from the V primary. That’s a new choice: in the primary we are picking our favorite out of a broad array of choices. In the general, we then pick our preferred leader out of two strong candidates. Choices, choices….

    Wow: sometimes, if an independent works hard, voters might even get to show their support for that independent twice, a choice voters never get in the current system.

    V = more choices for more voters.

  136. @caheidelberger Amendment V:

    ? takes away needlessly voters’ freedom to have multiple choice general elections

    ? takes away voters freedom to know party affiliations of candidates

    ? ensures incumbents and wealthiest candidates will most likely win protecting the status quo

    ? ensures a minority picks candidates for the majority

  137. Hey, everybody, we’re just going to keep banging here, since Jeff NM2PS seems inordinately motivated to keep repeating his disproven lines.

    Jeff seems to think there’s no need to let independents vote in primaries, or to allow all voters to vote for whomever they want in primaries, or set the same standards for all candidates to get on the primary ballot. Jeff is advocating lack of freedom; V is taking away no freedom and instead giving more choices to more voters.

    V takes away no freedom to know party affiliation. That information remains public record.

    V does not ensure the victory of wealthy and/or rich candidates. The advantages for wealthy/rich candidates remain unchanged and thus are not a voting issue.

    V does not ensure that a minority picks candidates for the majority. Again, Jeff wallows in the present and does not recognize the opportunity offered by this reform. Under V, everyone can show up and vote. The candidates in the general election can be chosen by far more people than participate in the current primary/nominating system. Right now, candidates for attorney general are chosen by maybe a couple hundred delegates at the respective party conventions. Under V, candidates for attorney general can be chosen by tens of thousands of voters. Likewise indy/3 candidates: right now, they are chosen for the general election ballot by at most a few thousand petitioners. Under V, they will be endorsed for the general election ballot by tens of thousands more voters. Jeff’s argument here fails miserably: the current system ensures that a majority chooses candidates for the general election ballot. If the number of people involved in choosing candidates for the ballot is really a central value for Jeff, then he needs to drop his obstinate opposition and endorse V. Every disadvantage he has cited so far is either non-unique or non-existent.

    V gives more voters more choices.

  138. @caheidelberger There you go being dishonest yet again. And after calling you out for it you’ll post a comment whining about me calling you out about it. NEVER did I claim “there’s no need to let independents vote in primaries.”

    However, open primary + top 2 + not allowing voters to know the affiliations of the candidates is not the right way to go about it.

    Colorado has a similar ballot measure to allow voters to vote for who they want to regardless of party affiliation or non-affiliation. But the measure doesn’t attach all the junk that Amendment V does with it.

    How sad to watch you advocate to solutions for SD poor election system by advocating for replacing it with another flawed, unfair, and undemocratic system.

  139. I’ve told you not to call me dishonest, Jeff. The fact that you can’t win the argument does not mean your opponent is lying (see also: Trump denying legitimacy of polls and elections that don’t break his way). I do not lie about the ballot measures. I don’t need to. Every statement I make about the ballot measures is sincere. I am always honest with voters.

    Yours are the positions that seem deliberately crafted to twist words and concoct notions of “choice” which in fact do not withstand scrutiny. I won’t focus on your personally; I’ll just point the continuing falsehood of your claims.

    V is fair, democratic, and has fewer flaws than the current system. As I noted in theb previous comment, the flaws you have suggested might exist in V either do not exist or exist in equal or greater proportion in the current system, meaning V wins this debate by comparative advantage.

    V does not prohibit voters from knowing the party affiliation of candidates, any more than the current system does not prohibit voters from knowing the sex, hair color, height, fashion choices, or policy positions of candidates. The current system just doesn’t print that information on the ballot.

  140. @caheidelberger Throwing one group of people under the bus to benefit another group is very personal. Being dishonest is very person. As I told you before, stop being dishonest and you won’t be called out when being dishonest.

    “knowing the sex, hair color, height, fashion choices” don’t pertain to relevant ideological backgrounds as IDing party affiliation does. What an absurd thing to write.

    You could use your time, talent, and treasure to advocate for fair elections for all instead of defending the undemocratic Amendment V with the uninspiring justification “the flaws you have suggested might exist in V either do not exist or exist in equal or greater proportion in the current system.”

    And there’s no “might about it.”

    Top 2 part of Amendment V takes away voters’ freedom to have multiple choice general elections, takes away information presently available to them. That’s a fact.

    Top 2 part of Amendment V twill guarantee that some groups of party-affiliated voters (likely your states’ Libertarian and Constitution Party voters) will be left out when no one from their preferred party appears as part of the Top 2. That’s a fact.

    You use dishonest tactics to in-effect argue “nuh uh” to ignore V’s undemocratic flaws to justify the open primary aspect of V.

    There is NO good reason to attach a Top 2 aspect to an open primary. The fairer thing to do would be to leave the general elections alone.

    You’re biggest complaint is that independents are left out of the primaries in some cases. Ok, so there was no reason to mess with the general election laws since you were already free to vote for whoever you wanted to vote for in the general election. The general election as is gives you the exact voting freedom you claim to want so badly.

    Your side screwed up by attaching top 2 to Amendment V.

  141. mike from iowa

    World Series time. Time for the BanHammer to work it’s magic. Here’s the pitch and there he goes out of the park permanently.

  142. Looks like we’ll be whacking this mole all day.

    “My side”? I’m speaking for myself.

    “Dishonest”? I told you, cut it out. I do not lie.

    I have time and talent, but “treasure”? Ha!

    “knowing the sex…” Jeff avoids the final, most important item of my list, policy positions, which makes my point in spades. Not printing information on the ballot is not equivalent to “not allowing voters to know” that information. Jeff completely cedes that point.

    “throwing one group under the bus”—there is no bus, and V targets no group for throwing. Every voter gets more opportunities to make more choices.

    We can imagine iterations of V without the Top 2 runoff. We could have just one election, one ballot with all candidates, and give the win to the top finisher, no matter how small the plurality. But that would trigger Jeff NM2PS’s complaint about a minority choosing for the majority—choosing, in this case, not just a candidate for the general but an actual officeholder. Top 2 addresses what Jeff claims is a critique: Top 2 ensures that the ultimate winner is chosen by a majority of voters, every time, a guarantee not given by current general elections in South Dakota.

    V is superior to the status quo, by my criteria and by Jeff’s. I’m winning both sides of this debate.

  143. @caheidelberger “Looks like we’ll be whacking this mole all day.” Hmmm, you deflect from commonly used expressions (“there is no bus”) then use an expression like that. How childish. At least the time you devote to me is less time you’re devoting to misleading your neighbors to justify endorsing a nonsensical election system.

    If V passes and then voters see how it will solidify the status quo – just as Top 2 solidifies most incumbents winning in CA and WA – then I hope your community holds you accountable for advocating for such a terrible voting system.

    Your general election system already gives you what you’re asking for in your primary system so there’s no reason to mess with it and take away voters’ freedom to have multiple choice.

  144. mike from iowa

    You are winning, Cory, but Drumpf supporters won’t accept the results.Danged if it ain’t getting contagious.

  145. @mike from iowa He’s winning at spinning. Is Trump in the 2 party system? Yep. So what part of No More 2 Party System is unclear to you?

    If Corey is a Democrat then how amusing that he’s backing the Top 2 scheme given to us in CA by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who – along with a Republican state legislature member – got this on the ballot in CA back in 2010.

    If he’s a Republican then he’s going rogue since SD GOP opposes V.

  146. Jeff is losing and grasps for personal insults.

    “There is no bus”—I wasn’t criticizing Jeff for using a common phrase. I was using his own language to make clear that he’s wrong. Nothing childish about that or about the rest of my response.

    Again, I devote no time to misleading anyone. Responding to Jeff ensures that neighbors coming here don’t see his errors go unrefuted.

    The general election system does not give us a guaranteed majority vote for our elected leaders. The general election system does not give every voter a choice of who goes on the general election ballot. The general election system does not give indy/3 candidates as good a chance of winning the election as V does.

    The fact that some Republicans endorse V does not impugn my Democratic integrity any more than the fact that some of my good Democratic friends are voting against V. Likewise, the support of SD Republicans like Frankenfeld and Parkinson has nothing to do with their credentials as Republicans. Jeff is now smokescreening. Members of both major parties, as well as indy/3s, have differing opinions about V. I don’t feel the need to call any of them dishonest.

  147. Jeff: “Top 2 part of Amendment V takes away voters’ freedom to have multiple choice general elections, takes away information presently available to them. That’s a fact.”

    Sure, but only because you have to qualify your statement to specifically call out GENERAL elections. Amendment V also gives voters multiple choice primary elections… something I, as a registered Indy, am only afforded due to the generosity of the Democratic party when they offer me the option of voting in their primary. The other parties (Republican, Green, Constitution, Libertarian, etc.) don’t even appear on my ballot… so often my choice in the primary is between two Democrats, and my choice in the general is between one Democrat, one Republican, and maybe one other party that managed to make the ballot. Let’s call that a total of five or six choices combined between primary and general.

    Meanwhile with V, I’m offered the ability to pick two from a list of potential candidates in the primary. If the Republicans offer their traditional three candidates, the Democrats offer two, and the Constitution and Libertarians each offer one, that gives me seven choices. Add in the general runoff between the top two vote getters and now we are up to nine possible choices.

    I went to public school so I won’t claim to be a math genius, but I think nine is more than five or six. So V gives me more choices… not fewer. That is a fact.

    Jeff: “Top 2 part of Amendment V twill guarantee that some groups of party-affiliated voters (likely your states’ Libertarian and Constitution Party voters) will be left out when no one from their preferred party appears as part of the Top 2. That’s a fact.”

    Yes they will be left off of the general, but if they aren’t able to muster enough support in the primary to be one of the top two, what chances do they have of winning? In practice the answer is zero. At least with V, I would be able to vote for one of those candidates in the primary and offer them my support. Today I’m unable to do that, so V is the only way I’d be able to voice my support for one of those third party candidates. Add in the math I showed above, and it is abundantly clear that V results in me having more choices on the ballot.

  148. caheidelberger When you’re dishonest and you get called out for it that’s not an insult. It’s stating factual information relevant to your creditably as a proponent of this deceptive Amendment V.
    You give such stunning political spin to try to hide behind “You’ve insulted me” to deflect from being accountable for dishonesty.

    Amendment V:

    ? takes away needlessly voters’ freedom to have multiple choice general elections

    ? takes away voters freedom to know party affiliations of candidates

    ? ensures incumbents and wealthiest candidates will most likely win protecting the status quo

    ? ensures a minority picks candidates for the majority

  149. When people call me things I’m not, that’s an insult to my character and to everyone else’s intelligence. You use that insult to distract from your failure to defend your points.

    No spin here: just the honest assessment of an honest South Dakota voter who will honestly vote for Amendment V because he honestly believes it will give more South Dakotans more chances to vote.

    To review:

    1. No voters lose freedom. Voters gain freedom.
    2. We can still learn party affiliation. If it matters and a candidate won’t tell you, don’t vote for that candidate (I wouldn’t!).
    3. Incumbents and rich candidates already have advantages. V does not make that advantage worse; thus this claim is not a voting issue on V (but is a voting issue that should motivate my fellow South Dakotans to vote NO on 19, Yes on 22, and Yes on T… because I really do care about leveling the playing field for independents, third parties, and non-rich folks, contrary to the incorrect claims Jeff makes here).
    4. Minorities already pick the candidates. V allows more people to participate in the process and ensures that majorities of participating voters do pick the winners of the general election every time.

     
    I’m still winning. Jeff isn’t spinning; he’s just repeating himself, as if saying the same lie over and over eventually makes it true. I will keep repeating my factual, honest responses.

  150. @Craig LOL You just defeated your own position. You claim to support V due to wanting more choice? So why then would you accept the Top 2 aspect that reduces general election choice? It’s a needless trade-off. There’s no good reason to take away the potential for multiple choice options in the general election. Leave your general elections alone and allow the top vote earner from each party to appear on the general election ballot along with the top 3 independents. But then again, V proponents want to strip away voters’ freedom to see party affiliation labeled on their ballot.

    Why is Top 2 the magic number? Let’s say the Ds & Rs have 3 candidates on the ballot each and the LPs, and Constitution Party have a candidate on the ballot. That means the Top 2 could hypothetically end up with fewer voters than all the non-winners. And if I’m wrong and the Top 2 doesn’t do that, then – as I mentioned earlier – moving forward with a general election of Top 2 would be a waste of money to voters since the majority candidate would already won in June. And in that case that would likely be the richest and most status-quo, party-backed candidates as happens in CA and WA where Top 2 is in effect. If federal election laws mandate general elections for your local races (I’m not sure) then it would make more sense to only have the one open election in your November general election. There would be no need for two elections.

    In any of those scenarios, the worries about the Top 2 being minority picked options does not go away unless there’s some type of ranked choice voting aspect of these election laws. But of course, Amendment V doesn’t include RCV – despite proponents claim that it’s all about giving voter’s choice.

    And – reminder – again – very few voters turn out for primary elections.

    But then V supporters say “Nu-uh. Because all candidates are now nonpartisan.” This is meaningless since the Ds and Rs will still be allowed to prop-up who they want. Did Amendment V ban parties from endorsing candidates? Did it undo Citizen’s United? Of course not.

    And thank you for admitting your indifference to voters’ freed to have representation on their ballot. Alt parties are hindered by unfair election laws and media bias/blackout. And you shrug and say “Oh well, they weren’t supported by the majority and can’t win anyway.” Meanwhile, thanks to the unpopularity of Clump, this election cycle will very likely see the highest votes for alternative parties ever. Pew and Gallop research shows it’s only a matter of a few more election cycles before alt parties start breaking though and defeating Ds and Rs. So now top 2 is used to suppress alt parties from becoming viable.

    But let’s say you don’t care since you’re an independent who seems indifferent to alt parties. When Top 2 results in Top 2 Democrats or Top 2 Republicans then you’re going to see supporters of the 2 major parties disenfranchised and left with nobody from their parties to vote for.

    And, as we already established, just because you take away voters’ right to see candidates’ party affiliation printed on their ballots – it doesn’t mean those Top 2 will be any less party-backed, status quo candidates. @caheidelberger wrote “V does not prohibit voters from knowing the party affiliation of candidates.” No kidding. That’s because V won’t stop the Ds and Rs from making ads identifying the supposed nonpartisan candidate as belonging to the party they’re affiliated with.

    And because of that, V ensures removes the incentives of parties to have multiple candidates in primaries. It gives Ds and Rs incentive to make deals behind the scenes to fend off multiple choices in the primary. Do you think real-independent candidates will fill the void? Please tell me where they will get the funds and the organizing structure to compete with Ds and Rs.

    In the end, Amendment V is a voting experiment that, based on what we see in CA and WA, will only ensure the status quo that you seem to dislike so much will continue on.

    The good news is since you’re state is so heavily read and the GOP there opposes amendment V hopefully that influence will be enough to fend off this terrible idea.

  151. “No voters lose freedom. Voters gain freedom.”

    Lie. Amendment V needlessly takes away voters’ freedom to have multiple choice general elections

    Amendment V removes information about candidate’s party affiliations from their ballots

    —————

    “We can still learn party affiliation. If it matters and a candidate won’t tell you, don’t vote for that candidate (I wouldn’t!).”

    Hold up? A moment ago, you just claimed voters were losing no freedom. Now you admit voters lose the freedom to easily see candidates’ party affiliations on their ballot.

    And you wonder why I think you’re a dishonest person.

    —————

    “Incumbents and rich candidates already have advantages.”

    And V solidifies those advantages by motivating Ds and Rs to handpick their primary candidates behind the scenes before primaries begin and ensures their status quo picks can waltz on up to the Top 2 slots.

    —————

    “Minorities already pick the candidates. V allows more people to participate in the process and ensures that majorities of participating voters do pick the winners of the general election every time.”

    Thanks for admitting the points I made earlier. V sets up a bizarre and needless trade-off of allowing people to vote across parties lines (with the lights off as candidates party affiliations won’t be disclosed) in exchange for removing their freedom to have a multiple choice general election leaving them with only Top 2 and no write in option.

    —————

    “Jeff isn’t spinning”

    Indeed. I’m outlining all the ways that V will harm voters that proponents of V deliberately don’t mention.

    “It’s extremely simple, just like our local elections for School Board, Mayor or City Council. Every voter gets to vote for the person, not the party.
    All the candidates run on a single nonpartisan ballot, regardless of party.
    Every voter, regardless of party and including independents, can vote for who they want.
    The two candidates with the most votes go on to a runoff style election in November.
    That’s all there is to it!””

    Um, no, that’s not ALL there is to it.

    Amendment V

    ? takes away needlessly voters’ freedom to have multiple choice general elections

    ? takes away voters freedom to see party affiliation of candidates printed on ballot

    ? ensures incumbents and wealthiest candidates will most likely win protecting the status quo

    ? ensures a minority picks candidates for the majority

  152. Jeff: “@Craig LOL You just defeated your own position. You claim to support V due to wanting more choice? So why then would you accept the Top 2 aspect that reduces general election choice?”

    I already explained that. My offering me more choices in the primaries I’m actually given more overall choices. You seem to only be concerned with the general election, but I’m concerned with the entire process, because as an Independent I currently don’t get a say in the vast majority of elections held in my state today. With Amendment V I would get a say. That is more choice for me.

    If you want to only look at the general that is fine – that is your right. I personally however am more interested in the entire political process because every election is important. Some people avoid primaries which is also their right, but that isn’t enough excuse for me to ignore the importance they hold.

    Also Jeff, cutting and pasting the same thing is generally frowned upon on any forum I’ve ever been a member of. It doesn’t help foster discussion and adds nothing. Make your point and we can talk about it, but don’t continue to paste the same text time and time again. That is childish.

  153. @Craig Before Top 2 took effect in CA, our primary system was more or less the same as yours is in SD. I too am an independent and I didn’t like it. But I would go back to the old system vs staying with this terrible Top 2 system that creates single party races, kills of 3rd parties, and ensures incumbents typically win.

    Voters in SD should not be subjected to a false dichotomy that an open primary must be paired with a Top 2 general election.

    “more overall choices” would be creating an open primary and leaving the general election as is – instead of removing voters’ freedom to have multiple choices to vote from in general elections.

    Also, I reject your nonsense that informing voters of the baggage that Amendment V comes with is “childish” but I can understand your need to resort to another deflection:

    Amendment V

    ? takes away needlessly voters’ freedom to have multiple choice general elections

    ? takes away voters freedom to see party affiliation of candidates printed on ballot

    ? ensures incumbents and wealthiest candidates will most likely win protecting the status quo

    ? ensures a minority picks candidates for the majority

  154. Robin Friday

    Bill Weld, Libertarian candidate for vice president, today made a statement to “all those in the electorate who remain torn between two so-called major party candidates whom they cannot enthusiastically support.”

    So far, it sounded like standard third-party boilerplate, and if Weld had gone on to explicitly urge undecided voters to choose the Libertarian Party as a third option, it would have been a thoroughly unremarkable moment.

    But he didn’t. Weld specifically took aim at Trump, warning that the pressures of the presidency would cause him to come “unhinged” and that Trump is not “stable” enough to serve in the office. He also slammed the GOP nominee for suggesting that he might not accept the election results.

    “This is the worst of American politics,” Weld said. “I fear for our cohesion as a nation, and for our place in the world, if this man who is unwilling to say he will abide by the result of our national election becomes our President.”