Letter to the editor: ‘Fusion voting’ makes sense

To the editor:

A few years ago, I was part of an unsuccessful effort to form a new party, the Party of the Center. We wanted a home for moderate voters who didn’t feel at home with either party. We came up short of the signatures needed to be certified, often being told that people agreed with us, but were afraid that we would only be spoilers.

Now comes United Kansas. It was recently certified as a new political party in Kansas. I was not part of the effort to form this new party, but I respect its stated purposes including its intention to “encourage coalition and compromise.”

Its primary strategy is to push for the revival of “fusion voting.” While still used in a few states, it was far more widespread in the early 1900s including in Kansas until it was banned as the two parties consolidated their control.

Fusion voting allows more than one party to nominate the same candidate. A voter is presented with the usual ballot. The difference being that a candidate’s name may appear more than once for the same office. A voter can still only vote once per office, but the twice-listed candidate has the votes for the different parties added together for their total.

United Kansas intends to nominate those candidates, Republican or Democrat, who are committed to moderation, decency and compromise. Candidates will be rewarded for their centrist views instead of only needing to placate the more extreme folks who make up much of the voters in primaries.

United Kansas gives people like me, who no longer have a home in either major party, the ability to cast their vote on behalf of sensible candidates for a change. Yes, it is different, but in today’s politics, different is what we need.

Scott Morgan,

Lawrence

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