☆ Tanaka on CA16 primary, recount: Isn’t there a better way?

Image by Clackamas County Historical.

Palo Alto CM and CA16 primary candidate Greg Tanaka reviews the primary season, primary vote, and recount drama. His conclusion: alternate, diverse voices aren’t heard in our election process, and maybe it’s time to consider reforms. An Opp Now exclusive.

I always expected there was going to be a recount given how close the race for second place was going to be.

But the whole way the primary ended suggests, to me at least, that our whole elections system could be reformed to work better.  I think with our current system, the in-power party or party segment gets a stranglehold on electoral power. There is a lack of ideological diversity, a lack of real policy debate.

You even see in the presidential race, where people are all up in arms about an alternative voice, RFK, running.

As I reflect on the primary, I thought as a candidate group, we did okay. There were debates that were thoughtful and substantial.

But I do wonder–even though this is a topic that people really don’t like to talk about– how many people really watched those debates. We don’t do a good job of engaging the voting populace. There are hundreds of names on ballots, and many people only spend 10-15 minutes to decide for all the issues and candidates on the entire ballot.people  There’s just a gap between the amount of time people have and the amount of time required to be an informed voter.

We hear about the massive CA deficit. To me, that should’ve been a big issue for voters, but it barely made a blip in the debates and candidate statements.  

It makes me wonder if there is a better way, so elections are not so much a marketing game, but rather a system that helps people think through issues and compare candidates thoughtfully.

The race for second was so close, we should have a recount. But we could have an election system like ranked choice, where even if you have a bunch of people running, maybe you don’t need a primary.

But changing voting methods is tough, it’s hard to get people to change. 

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