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  [WA] State Elections: Top two without a hitch
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  May 09, 2005 08:40am
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CategoryEditorial
MediaNewspaper - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
News DateMonday, May 9, 2005 02:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionAfter years of squabbling over what form of primary election to hold in Washington, the next year may determine whether we even have primary elections.

State Republican Party officials are expected as early as this week to file a federal lawsuit challenging the "top-two" primary that voters adopted in the November election with Initiative 872. Democratic Party officials are expected to join in the suit. In the meantime, the parties plan to use caucuses and conventions to determine which candidates will receive the official party imprimatur.

They want the parties, not the voters, to select the parties' champions for the November general election. If the courts refuse to toss out the top-two primary, the parties will sue to allow only the party choices to bear the party name on the ballot.

Washington's notoriously independent voters won't stand for that, and will likely abandon the primary election altogether.

But there is an alternative, one specifically referenced in the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the popular "blanket" primary. That solution is to go to a completely non-partisan system, eliminating political party designations for all offices -- local, legislative and statewide.
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