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Op-Ed: Voters of the World Unite! Ranked Choice Voting and Open Primaries are the Socialist Takeover of Elections in Idaho

By • December 25, 2023

Do you believe in private property rights and the right to free association? If no, then I completely understand why you are in favor of both “Open Primaries” and “Ranked Choice Voting” (RCV), which is being pushed by Reclaim Idaho and their useful idiots is pure socialism.

The Republican Party, Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, Green Party, etc. are all private organizations with various degrees of structure, membership requirements, bylaws, and clearly defined rules for how candidates are selected by each party. Due to taxation requirements, just like any other organization, the State of Idaho has similar rules of reporting requirements to maintain transparency. Actually, the reality for financial contributions to the Republican Party are so stringent, every financial contribution to the party must be accompanied by name, address, and phone number, to be filed along with the contribution amount with the Secretary of State of Idaho. Just imagine what the line at In-N-Out Burger would be like if you had to do this every time you ordered a double double, protein style, no onion, and no mustard, with fries extra well done. Under these reporting rules, any cash transaction, without the aforementioned information cannot be accepted, so when it does occur, the money gets donated to charity. Image how unworkable a tip jar would become from any other business operating under the same rules as the Idaho Republican Party? Did you know any of this before reading it just now? What if we imposed this same standard upon other businesses and organizations operating in Idaho, in the name of fairness and transparency? Could you operate your business or private organization under this standard?

As difficult as it may be, these rules seem to be working for most other political parties and organizations, so why change it?

The complaints against Republican dominance on the ballot are typically by people who refuse to join the party and get involved. You know, do the work required to be successful. As a former elected Libertarian who did so in Chicagoland Machine politics, how difficult do you think that task was? It took years, and many, many, many court battles. This is the price of change in a functioning constitutional republic. The election laws for the State of Illinois were written by former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (the first) during his time in the Illinois General Assembly. What kind of rules do you think he crafted? Incredibly stringent and complex ones. Such as, if your name is “William Smith,” but you signed any petition or related election documents as “Bill Smith,” this is grounds to strike you from the ballot or any petitions you may have signed. You must literally dot every I and cross every T. The level of complexity that ranked choice voting and open primaries will inflict on Idaho politics is akin to what old man Daley did to establish the Chicago Democratic Machine.

Question: have you met anyone who can explain either “Ranked Choice Voting” or “Open Primaries” in less than 5 minutes in a way that makes sense? If ranked choice voting makes so much sense, watch some videos of the Nevada caucuses, and tell me how this is a better system than what we have now. Go stand in this corner for this candidate and here for this other candidate, now we count you. Then we total it up, ok now this candidate is out so now we vote again. Wait, where did Bob go, is he missing? Or Sally needs to go to the bathroom. Alright now let’s vote again and wait… shoot I stood in the wrong corner for my candidate. We need to vote again. There is a reason why the Nevada caucuses take hours to complete. So instead, we are going to use a computer algorithm to do this same task? With Ranked Choice Voting, we are going to automate this chaos and expect better results?

In the previous example of Bob going missing and Sally going to the bathroom, substitute missing or bathroom with incorrectly filled out ballots. You say that the machines will catch it and give the voters that chance to correct “errors.” Really, how much time will that take and how many voters will just give up and hit the “override” to accept their ballot as is? Have you seen how big ranked choice ballots are? Again, complexity leads to confusion, and that leads to corruption.

What if someone keeps making mistakes and keeps needing replacement ballots? When I ran polling places for the Los Angeles County Board of Elections, we had a “three strikes” rule. After three failed ballots you were thrown out of the polling place and lost you right to vote in the election. Again, how many of the people actually trying to fill out such a huge ballot are going to make more than 3 mistakes and be disenchanted from voting? Almost sound like this is by design.

Speaking of the 3 strikes rule, this is in effect for the second largest city in America, circa 2000s. I have not heard of any successful court cases limiting the 3 strikes rule, have you? So, it is accepted practice, going on 20 years. What will be the rule in Idaho?

But wait – in Ada County we print the ballots, custom on demand. How did that work out in Arizona? Remember all the “printing errors” only occurring in Republican areas? This issue is still being litigated in Arizona Courts. (Remember how I mentioned it took years for my ballot access issues to be successfully litigated). I sure hope they don’t run out of printer ink.

Regarding established political parties: what is wrong for people to create an organization, have rules to memberships, rules for party officers, various levels of equal and separate sub organizational bodies, and have it be controlled by their members? The bar is quite low, and there are several established parties, each with their own unique trademark label. Is in it important to have label enforcement? When I lived in Czechoslovakia, post iron curtain, there existed true free market capitalism. When I went to the local shop to purchase a bottle of Stoli vodka, you ran the risk it was fake because anyone could make a Stoli label and sell it to the public. How do you think that worked out? A lot of people were hurt and at least 18 died. The bad Stoli made it all the way to Japan, but there was nothing that Stoli could do because anyone could use their label in post socialist Czechoslovakia. With open primaries, we will have the same risk. Without he parties as a filtering mechanism, you get to take the label and sell it in the marketplace. I don’t know if Stoli was aware that their vodka was being pirated, but even if they did, until some people were hurt and killed and a law was broken, could enforcement actually happen.

Fake election judges are going to be the new reality under open primaries and ranked choice voting. One of the ways we have free and fair elections is by the established parties sending in their selected representatives to serve as elections judges in the polling places. When I was in El Paso, Texas at the Republican Party headquarters, the number one complaint is difficulty in finding actual registered Republicans to be judges. In Texas, they also have open primaries, so even though someone is registered Republican, not until they pull a party ballot, is it known their true affiliation. Just think how much work it is to look up which party ballot each “Republican” judge actually pulled. Then informing the El Paso Election Commission that this particular judge is disqualified from serving next time. Notice I said, ‘next time,’ the damage is done for the current election cycle. Considering that El Paso has an 80/20 registration edge for Democrats, it is difficult enough to find a Republican. With both the Idaho Statesman and the Idaho Democrat Party advocating for voters to “switch parties” to interfere with Republican primaries, just think what they will do with election judges?

The Chicago Tribune documented in 1973 a Democratic Party practice of having fake Republican judges, to stack the polling place with one party. The “security” at the polling place, was off duty Chicago Police, who earned their spot at the academy via a referral by the local Democrat Precinct Captain. The Precinct Captain would only give this recommendation after the aspiring policeman walked the precinct with the same Precinct Captain and worked several elections. What do you think this future law enforcement officer saw, learned, and participated in? You think a real, “straight shooter” would pass this test? You think this man would dare question the Democratic Party, who he owes his job to? Don’t get me wrong, Democrats do take elections very seriously and do the work. As I was taught by one of the Daley Machines’ very best “get out the vote” PCs, there is a right way and a wrong way to win elections; they both require lots of work. However, the party machine is “results oriented,” and lacked the will to enforce one over the other. Just like the mafia, good producers are rewarded. Does it make sense now why all those dead people were able to vote? Does it now seem clear why Republicans are unable to make any improvements in such deep blue places like El Paso, Texas?

One of the fears of the pushers of open primaries and ranked choice voting is the need to keep right wing, neo-Nazi, Christian nationalist, gun toting (insert whatever pejorative here) extremists off the ballot. The ultimate boogeyman in their eyes is Amon Bundy. Originally, Amon Bundy registered as a Republican and entered the Republican primary race against, Brad Little, Janice McGeachin, and Ed Humphrey. Realizing that he could not win the closed Republican Party Primary, he dropped out to run as an independent. So, the existing Republican Party structure, worked to prevent Amon Bundy as their nominee.

Under open primaries, and ranked choice voting, Ammon Bundy would have run as a Republican. Moreover, by getting 17% of the general election vote, he would have made it into the “top 4,” thus making it to the general election ballot as a Republican. So, under the proposed new voting system, Ammon Bundy would be on the ballot twice as a Republican. If you think “Trump Derangement Syndrome” is bad, just imagine what it would be like working a polling place with Ammon Bundy on the ballot multiple times?

This example from the prior governor’s race just proves what an utter failure this initiative is in fighting “extremism” in Idaho.

If private organizations can be forced by the government to allow nonmember citizens the right to pick their representatives, why stop with the Republican Party? Why not allow the registered voting citizens of Idaho pick the board of St. Luke’s Hospital? As the largest employer in the State of Idaho, the power of the company is immense. Through an aggressive and successful growth strategy, it is almost impossible to avoid care in one of St. Luke’s locations or by one of their network of care providers. It is safe to say, if you ended up in an ambulance, you most likely will end up in a St. Luke’s Emergency Room. So, St. Luke’s, has the power of life and death over most Idahoans based upon the standard of care they provide of fail to provide. Don’t the registered voters of Idaho deserve the right to vote for the board members and president of St. Luke’s? The chairman of the Idaho GOP is a volunteer, receiving zero pay, while the CEO of St. Luke’s makes millions. Millions, as the head of a “non-profit”? Just think of all your tax dollars St. Luke’s receives directly and indirectly. They are exempt from property tax, why not you too?

If you were able to elect the CEO of St. Luke’s, would you vote for someone receiving millions? Our current governor Brad Little, only makes $138,302 per year to run our entire state. We don’t seem to have had a shortage of Idahoans wanting the job at this level of pay, so what if we had “open primaries” and “ranked choice voting” for the largest corporations in Idaho? Are not very prominent business and political leaders expressing supping for “open primaries” and “ranked choice voting”, so I ask why not carry this on to the key organizations and businesses crucial to the economic health for all Idahoans, it would be revolutionary. Yes, revolutionary indeed, it would be a true people’s revolution, a socialist, Marxist, communist revolution.

Voters of the World Unite!

This Op-Ed was submitted by Chandler Hadraba. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Ammon Bundy, Ballot, Chicago, Constitution Party, Democratic Party, Elections, Green Party, Idaho Republican Party, Idaho Voters, Libertarian Party, Nevada Arizona, Open Primaries, open primary, Poll Judge, Polling Place, Ranked Choice Voting, Republican Party, St. Luke's Hospital, Texas

18 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Voters of the World Unite! Ranked Choice Voting and Open Primaries are the Socialist Takeover of Elections in Idaho

  1. This author seems to try and make his case by implying that voters will need to consider and rank all candidates in an election. No such requirement exists in any actual or proposed version of Ranked Choice Voting in the US. Rarely does anyone peruse the full menu at In-and-Out before ordering. Most people already have a pretty good idea of what they want before they get on the order line. The same is just as true for voters and candidates.

    What RCV does do is give voters who are unhappy with the candiates being pushed by the major parties a real chance to express their unhappiness without being labeled as “spoilers” or people who have wasted their vote. If they do not think their top ranked candidate has enough support to win they can give a lower ranking to someone they like less but think can win. There are no spoilers, wasted or votye splitting with RCV.

    What the Republican party wants to do is scare people into voting for the lesser evil. RCV lets them say they don’t want evil.

    1. So you are telling us that Joe Biden currently polling at 25%, can win re-election. That’s RCV. And why do you need open primaries when your party already knows how to mobilize its voters to change their registration to vote in the closed Republican primary? And when your party bosses find faux Republicans to run in the primary and split the vote so that the faux Republican candidate can win? You confuse deception with democracy. You people are only interested in power.

    2. You have an unreasonably Pollyanna-ish view of modern voters. I follow politics on both a national and local level and even I rarely know who is ultimately going to be on the ballots come election day. The bigger problem is that very few candidates actually publish platforms or key initiatives even when asked by media outlets. And then you have stunts like our current governor to avoid town halls or other debates where their policies can be challenged in an open forum.

      RCV only facilitates this kind of avoidance because it effectively eliminates actual partisan membership. Just look at Alaska where they’ve had to deal with Lisa Murkowski because the Republican candidate the caucuses wanted had to be on the same ballot as someone with name recognition and existing political power.

      NO to RCV. It’s an elaborate deception which eliminates principled conservatives from elections and enables fringe democrats. It violates the fundamental principle of votes going to the candidates specified by the voters themselves.

      NO to RCV.

    3. What the Democrats want to do is make it possible for them to win elections in the heavily Republican state of Idaho. If we wanted Democrats in office, we would vote for them.

  2. Ranked Choice Voting simply allows a group of voters to consolidate support behind the strongest candidate, without fracturing their vote amongst multiple, similar candidates. When parties do this in primaries, it helps them send a strong, rather than a weak candidate into the general election.

    1. Ranked choice voting simply dilutes your vote for your preferred candidate by enlarging the “pool” to include candidates you may despise. That’s it, full stop. Nice try, glib lib.

      1. You’re agreeing with the other comment.

        You get to vote for your preferred candidate. That’s it, full stop.

        Nothing is diluted. Dispised candidates can be in a race a myriad of ways, RCV doesn’t affect who can run.

        1. The issue is how the votes get counted because RCV forces me to give a partial vote to someone I wouldn’t vote for under ANY circumstance. It suborns my choice.


    2. So you are telling us that Joe Biden currently polling at 25%, can win re-election. That’s RCV. And why do you need open primaries when your party already knows how to mobilize its voters to change their registration to vote in the closed Republican primary? And when your party bosses find faux Republicans to run in the primary and split the vote so that the faux Republican candidate can win? You confuse deception with democracy. You people are only interested in power.

  3. I am a polling place Chief Judge at a precinct in Ada County. We undergo hours of training at the county level to qualify for this role. We study the law, recent changes to the law, and review policy manuals and equipment manuals. It’s hard for me to take the author’s article seriously when he gets so so many facts wrong. This guy is completely uninformed about how the current process ACTUALLY works, and therefore has no credibility for his opinion on how thing MIGHT work.

    1. As to whether or not the author is correct regarding how the process currently works, you are free to cite from your experience. As to how it _might_ work, there is no speculation necessary. We can already see its effects in states such as Alaska where a true conservative had to run against a RINO and a liberal. The RINO won not because she got first-place votes, but second-place votes. RCV ends up only benefitting progressives. No thank you.

  4. Open primaries – codifying ubiquitous lying (anyone can identify as anything). A sad state of affairs for our State to be in (a nod to Evita).
    RCV is basically just turning over who picks our “elected” officials to those that program the algorithms in the machine (it used to be those who counted the votes).
    The people pushing this ballot initiative are either ignorant (the writer of this article obviously is not and has lived and experienced it and thought he/she had moved somewhere “safe”); or they are trying to fundamentally change our State on purpose.
    Love the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” idea, that the big businesses behind this initiative should allow their corporate leaders to be “elected” the same way.




    You do not need to vote for all of the candidates. You can vote for just one, and leave the rest blank. You do not need to vote for all of the positions. You can vote for just one.

    For your 1st choice, mark the 1st box to the right of their name. For your 2nd choice, mark the 2nd box to the right of their name. Do this for as many as you want to vote for. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO VOTE FOR ALL OF THEM. You can vote for just one.

    When the ballots are counted, and no candidate gets over 50% of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is deleted, and the ballots are counted again. This is done until one candidate gets over 50% of the votes, and they win.

    If you want RANKED CHOICE VOTING in your local, county, state, and federal elections, to make sure each candidate gets OVER HALF OF THE VOTES to win, please contact your politicians. If you do not know how to contact them, you can find all of them at:
    You can also put their name in your browser search window, along with their government title(senator, representative, mayor, etc.)

    The joe biden administration made it so you now have to give your address, city, state, and zip code, to get your politician’s contact information. You did not have to give ANY of those before. If you use the service, be ready to get mail from lots of places, even though the site says they will not sell your information.

    1. Those who are conservative voters will vote for one choice only.

      Everyone else will vote for multiple candidates. And guess what happens. The conservative won’t win.

      According to Alinsky, “The Prince was written by Machiavelli so that the HAVES could hold power. Rules For Radicals was written so that the HAVE NOTS could hold power.”

      RCV is proposed so that the Idaho political minority can gain and hold on to power.

  6. Ranked choice voting is a socialist scam. Don’t listen to the lies of snake oil salesman advocating for RCV. They are as deceptive as the group pushing it.”Reclaim Idaho” was founded by militant leftist communists from California. They aren’t reclaiming anything. More accurately, they are attempting to hijack Idaho deceptively in order to turn us into a blue state. As soon as that happens they’ll tax you into oblivion, ban your guns, then come for your private property. Say no to ranked choice voting.

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