Think voting is for chumps? You might be interested in this system that some states are trying out.

Elections in almost all states in our country come down to primaries, where the candidate who actually makes it onto the final ticket is chosen by a small percentage of people.

In fact, in some states, you actually have to register for a specific party in order to vote in the primaries for given candidates.

In other words, if you want to vote in the primaries for Party X, you have to be registered as a Party Xer. Even if you don't agree with them.


That big yellow block of voters in the middle of the graphic above? Those are independent voters, which — per October 2015 Gallup Poll resultsmake up close to 42% of Americans. They often don't even get to participate in the primary, unless they register as one of the other parties. Ahem.

In fact, 50% of millennials don't register for either party. Hmmm...

An alternative? Let everybody vote in all primaries (also known as "open" or "top-two" primaries).

This means that the two people with the most votes advance from the primary to be on the general election ballot regardless of their party affiliations.

Guess what happens when you do that? Those party divisions and interparty conflicts as well as making the “other" party out to be all bad all the time — all of that goes away.

And — this is key — in order to be on the ballot, you have to appeal to all voters, not just those of a particular party.

Kinda sweet-sounding, isn't it?

Americans are unhappy with partisan politics and would love to be voting for people who will represent all voters, not just by party.

Three states and most municipalities use a nonpartisan election using the top-two primary system. California and Washington use it for all races except presidential, and Nebraska uses it for state and local races. And some other states have primary systems that allow independents to vote in a limited capacity.

What happens then is that elections become more competitive, and legislators have to work across party lines.

This way, it sounds like the American people win, doesn't it?

If you want to find out more, there's a growing movement to change this in every state and the national elections as well. The two-minute video below from Open Primaries gets into that, and it seems really appealing. Check it out:

More
True
Open Primaries

The great thing about American democracy is the separation of powers. The federal government has rights, states have rights, counties have rights, cities have rights, and we, as people, have rights, too.

Heck, even animals have some rights in the good ol' U S of A.

The president of the United States is not a king or a dictator so a team of U.S. mayors, led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking to go over his head to negotiate directly at next month's UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Amanda Williams

It can take time to feel comfortable in a new home, especially if you think there are scary monsters lurking about, which is why six-year-old Hayden Williams had trouble sleeping in his new room.

Hayden used to share a room with his 15-year-old sister, but when the Eldridge, Iowa family moved, each kid got their very own. While his sister was excited for the change, Hayden was having a hard time adjusting to the new arrangement.

"My little man has been having severe anxiety since we moved into the new house…I've tried everything under the sun to get him to sleep in his own room. Nothing is helping," his mom, Amanda Williams, wrote on Facebook.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Courtesy of Capital One

It was around Christmas 2018 and Jean Simpkins, 79, was looking out the window of her new three-bedroom apartment. Eleven floors above Washington, D.C., the grandmother of two gazed out at the lights of the city and became overwhelmed with gratitude. "The only thing I could say," Simpkins remembers, "was 'Thank you, Father.'"

Almost a year later, Simpkins still can't help but look at the apartment as a miracle — one she desperately needed. Fifteen years ago, when her grandson was born, she became his primary caregiver. Six years later, when her granddaughter was four, Simpkins was awarded full custody of her, too. She's spent the time since trying to give her grandchildren the life she knows they deserve, which has been difficult on a fixed income. On top of that, Simpkins worried that the neighborhood the family resided in wasn't the best influence on her kids. Something had to change.

Then she learned about Plaza West, a new development created by Mission First housing that would reserve 50 of its apartments specifically for families in which a grandparent or other older adult was raising children who were related to them. The waiting list, Simpkins says, was daunting. There are a great deal of grandfamilies in the D.C. area and she was sure it might be years before she got the call. But soon after applying, she was offered a choice between a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom apartment. She accepted the latter, sight unseen. She knew that each of her grandchildren needed space of their own.

Keep Reading Show less
Future Edge
True
Capital One
via Pixabay

Ninjas are black-clad assassins that date back to the days of feudal Japan. They are skillful, secretive fighters who have mastered the element of surprise, espionage, and clandestine tactics.

Ninjas weren't held to the Bushido code like the samurai, so they could be mercenaries who did the lord's dirty deeds without worrying about their honor. A ninja's most important power is the ability to be stealth and sneak into castles or homes to take their targets by surprise.

Keep Reading Show less
popular