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Random Observations by Pat Ostrye

As I Said Last Week. . .

by Pat Ostrye

. . .please, one national Primary!!  If Super Tuesday's Primary had included all 50 states, we would have definitive answers already concerning who's who as a candidate for each party.  As it stands, the pundits have to go back to square one with their words of wisdom about who's really ahead, where and when he/she should rethink/revise past techniques, to capture the youth, the women, the Hispanics, the African-Americans and the heretofore over-looked Asian community.  Somewhere in there they also have a category for "men".  Didn't these same pundits have all the answers every inch of the way so far?!  We know now how that fared out.

    Plus, in an article in the Opinion section of the L.A. Times, Sunday, February 3rd, Allen Raymond confirmed what most of the electorate figured out years ago, "Campaigns are not won because of ideals or powerful speeches or the better candidate, they're street fights in which you do anything and everything you can to win".  He even went on to tell how he was ultimately incarcerated for his endless dirty tricks - one being the shutting down of phone lines at Democratic headquarters in the 2002 New Hampshire general election at the direction of the Republican National Committee.  But, incarceration is after the fact and will not undo the damaging election results.  We've been through that a time or two and this inevitability compounds the agony for any candidates still standing.

    Dare I mention one more time how much simpler it would have been to use absentee ballots for everyone?!  From first-hand experience as City Clerk in a small town of 40,000 I shuddered when the County was late with the voting booths and other necessary equipment.  This time around it did happen in Los Angeles, with the voting machines and whatever else arriving at noon, resulting in voters coming and going several times all morning, some finally giving up.  Of course it's a fact of life, there will always be public officials who definitely don't want elections to be so inclusive.

    Bottom line, one National Primary using all absentee voting, as Oregon has done for years, could give a semblance of order and efficiency to all elections, city, state and national.  Let's bite the bullet and go for it!

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