While preference groups are the only way the minority party can remedy the anger of the 2016 primary, once in power, they will have the chance to rewrite Iowa’s election laws and give the ability to choose candidates to the people.
If no candidate in a primary gets 35 percent of the vote, a runoff election is held for the top two. We decide and will accept the outcome.
The other option would be ranked voting. While a runoff is activated by a threshold not being met, ranked voting is a way to avoid a threshold by assigning points to a voters first, second and third choice. The candidate with the most points wins.
Ranked voting legislation was introduced last year in the Iowa Senate but didn’t make it to the floor. Legislation for a runoff was passed in the Senate unanimously, but never brought to the House floor. It still could be, so call your representative.
Ranked voting takes no more resources than a regular primary, but it is a new idea. A runoff takes more funds, but if we can legislate and appropriate money to enact a voter ID law that was written to suppress the Democratic vote, we can appropriate funds for this.
Democracy means we all have a voice. Whether you think the current system is flawed or not the outcome will always be suspect to some. A coalition is built on trust and transparency, and a candidate chosen at the convention by delegates strains that trust.