Beyond the Echo Chamber: A Roundup of Nonpartisan Election News — January 8, 2016

Trump Calls Virginia Loyalty Oath A “Suicidal Mistake”

Source: Fred Lucas, The Blaze

My Take: Of interest particularly if you’ve followed this story. The whole thing seems a bit blown out of proportion as I don’t see this being an oath, as has been charged, but an affirmation of party affiliation. An informative list of how other states do pretty much the same thing — though differently.

 

5 Years Later, The Atlantic Reviews California Top-Two Primary

Source: Christopher Caen, The Atlantic

My Take: An interesting piece, accurate in its examples, but omitting some key points. For example, the media always seems to focus on the election of moderates when it’s really about voting rights and accountability, including how challengers and incumbents alike behave toward voters.

 

Growing Illinois Movement Fights to Take Party Politics out of Redistricting Process

Source: Chris Kaergard, GateHouse Media / The State Journal Register (Illinois)

My Take: If it qualifies, this will be a campaign fascinating to watch. Proponents make the usual arguments about legislators’ conflicts of interest, fairness, etc., while the opposition is unusually brash and blatant in their defense of the status quo. An interesting read.

 

GOP Wants No Part of Open Primary System In Arizona

Source:  Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services (Phoenix)

My Take: An entertaining bit of back and forth between the Arizona Republican chairman and former mayor of Phoenix and unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor. The chairman does admit that there are those in his party who believe it could be helpful.

 

Editorial Tries to Convince People to Put Party ahead of Personal Choice

Source: Toni Denis, The Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ)

My Take: Given the author’s background and experiences, it’s an interesting, though a bit all over the map read and that’s reflected in her rationale. She appears to be genuinely concerned with the number of people, particularly young ones, who are registering independent…missing the point of why they are doing so.

 

In Maine, Ranked Choice Voting Has Broad Nonpartisan Appeal

Source: Jerry Davis, Dick Woodbury and Cathy Breen, Portland (ME) Press Herald

My Take:  A novel and perhaps effective way of getting the word out, claiming to be three of a growing list of over 200 elected officials from across the spectrum supporting RCV. I’m impressed with the fact that it explains, in plain english, not only how it works, but also the benefits as they see them.

 

The Partisan Election System Is Killing Off The Swing Voter

Source: Ezra Klein, Vox

My Take: Interesting conclusions, including some very different perceptions of independent voters today versus thirty or forty years ago.