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View Diary: WA Primary:  Murray vs. Rossi in Gen; Palin-Backed Didier Out (47 comments)

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  •  Not true... (0+ / 0-)

    There was a brief pause in the top-two format due to a court challenge, but it has been around in WA for almost 20 years.

    DARTH SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
    LANDO REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

    by LordMike on Wed Aug 18, 2010 at 12:42:35 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  No, the "top two" system was enacted (0+ / 0-)

      by the legislature in 2004, to replace a "blanket primary" system, in which voters could split their primary votes between two parties, but each party got to nominate a candidate.

      The political parties didn't like the blanket primary because it didn't let them get a list of who was in what party. In 2000, SCOTUS invalidated California's newly-enacted blanket primary, which had been modeled after Washington's.

      History of what happened next, from the P-I:

      In the California ruling, this state's political parties saw an opportunity to exert more control over who chooses general election contenders and whether the state keeps a party-coveted list of registered party members. Shortly after that ruling, the Washington party organizations successfully sued.

      In early 2004, the Legislature enacted a "Top Two" system. But then-Gov. Gary Locke largely vetoed the measure, leaving intact an unpopular fall-back "pick a party" format that limited each voter to choosing from among only one party's candidates, but kept secret which party's ballot the voter selected.

      Meanwhile, 60 percent of Washington voters approved Grange-sponsored Initiative 872 in November 2004, again establishing a "Top Two" system as state law. Before it was enacted, the state Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties sued. They won in both U.S. District Court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

      To the dismay of the parties, SCOTUS disagreed with the lower courts and upheld the Top Two.

      Reporting on the Supreme Court decision in March 2008, the P-I wrote:

      While the political parties said their legal battle is far from over, Secretary of State Sam Reed said Washington will use the "Top Two" system for the first time in August.

      [Emphasis mine.]

      The system that was in use for decades was similar to the current system, but not the same. Because each party was guaranteed the opportunity to field a candidate (if they had anyone running) in the prior system and that is not the case now, voters might have used different strategies in deciding how to cast their votes.

      Make. Them. Filibuster.

      by NWTerriD on Wed Aug 18, 2010 at 06:49:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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