John Burbank is correct when he writes that there are problems with our voting system. (Aug. 13 column, “‘No choice’ state voting needs tweak.”) Where he is incorrect is in defining what those problems are. We used to have absentee (mail-in) voting for people who would be away on election day and who had to apply each time, and for those who were too sick or handicapped to go to the polls, and this too, was not always permanent. More and more people began to request permanent absentee ballots because it was too much trouble to get themselves to the polling place.
Then in 2007 the Legislature stepped in and made all voting by mail. After that they put in place the “top two” system of advancing to the general election, and then they did all they could to prevent us from even knowing if candidates are Democrats or Republicans. All of these changes were mistakes. Election day used to mean something. Now it is just a ballot sitting around one’s house, which we hope we can find, and remember to send in, on time.
All of us, with rare exceptions, should be voting at polling places. Candidates should be clearly identified as Republican or Democrat. We should not have “open” primaries. Republicans and Democrats should hold their own primaries, for which the voter needs to identify himself as to party affiliation. What we have in this country, and what works best, is a two-party system. The Legislature has done everything in its power to destroy that. And I am pretty sure which party benefits by this.