Run-Off Election Process Could Change

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Voting in partisan primary elections could get a lot more complicated if a Legislative Bill 742 from Senator John Murante of Gretna becomes a law.

Murante said he hopes it will make for friendlier campaigns and make people feel like their vote really matters.

Here's how it would work. Instead of picking on candidate, you would rank the candidates in order of preference. If none of the candidates get a majority, 50 percent plus one, that's when the run-off happens. Under this system of run-off, the election commission takes the 2nd place votes from the ballots that chose the candidate who came in last, and distributes those votes to the remaining candidates.

That will continue until a candidate achieves a majority of the vote.

"What we're trying to make sure that every candidate who gets the nomination is acceptable to at least the majority of a political party. I think that will result in better candidates," said Senator Murante.

In the Government, Military and Veteran Affairs Committee hearing today, Senators Scheer and Bloomfield expressed concerns that this method would give some voters an advantage.

"I perceive an individual having the opportunity to vote twice on a single election," said Senator Scheer of Norfolk.

Other governments have used this election method, including Minneapolis, but the Senator Murante couldn't think of any states that had when he was asked in the hearing.

Senator Murante said there still needs to be more research done before this bill can become a law.