John Howell Sr. editorial – 8/7/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 7, 2015

John Howell Sr.

Open primaries looking better with each election

From the comments and questions we heard before and now after Tuesday’s election, we believe that Mississippians will be more receptive than before to the idea of open primaries when the year is over.

In an open primary, all candidates — Democrats, Republicans, Greens, independents — would run in the same election. If one candidate received a simple majority, that candidate would win the office he or she is seeking.

If no candidate received a majority, we would have a runoff between the top two, just like we do now with party primaries.

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In Panola County and all over Mississippi, we are still trying to figure out what happened in Tuesday’s first primaries — what role organized strategies might have played in some of the curious outcomes. Organized strategies will always have a place in politics, of course, but with the open primary system we would likely have fewer unintended consequences.

Another advantage of open primaries  is that it would reduce the number of elections and the costs we bear as taxpayers to pay for them. This year, we would have reduced the county’s election expense by one-third.
Think about it.