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It is positive that Evanston is considering ranked-choice voting.
But Evanston does not exist in a vacuum. Illinois politics is at the bottom of the barrel and contributes to population flight and failed systems, finances and programs at every level.
As Jarell Corley recently stated in the Tribune, “It’s time for an honest assessment of the reforms needed to change our state’s political culture.”
The partisan primary system is one reason why elections are so uncompetitive and voters have so little ability to impact on their elected leadership.
California, Washington, Nebraska, Alaska have all enacted nonpartisan primaries. And this year Nevada and Missouri voters will have a chance to do the same.
In the nonpartisan system, there are no more Democratic and Republican primaries. There is a single nonpartisan primary where all voters and all candidates participate on equal footing, and general elections are no longer an afterthought.
This is the direction the country is heading and Illinois would benefit greatly from a shift away from party-controlled elections to voter-controlled elections.
By all means explore ranked-choice voting for Evanston. But expand the conversation beyond the borders of Howard Street and Linden Avenue.
Mayor Daniel Biss, as a former state senator, could play an important role in advocating for the need for such a move for the entire state. Let’s hope he and others rise to the occasion.
President, Open Primaries