Upon Further Review: What is a Jungle Primary?

Building Reign Capitol Usa Washington Politics

   It is a voting year and that means everyone is gearing up to vote in their states and is, hopefully, avidly researching what they are going to be voting about. A jungle primary, probably is not significant to Ohio voters, at least not right now, but maybe one day it could be.

   A jungle primary is the way that California, Washington, and Texas vote in primaries, though other states do use this in special elections.

   The easy definition is the state votes for whomever they want, with every candidate lined up regardless of political affiliation. Then the top two candidates go head to head in the secondary elections.

   This is a really good way of voting if you ask me, because this gives people the political freedom to pick who they want despite the party each candidate runs under.

   There have been many instances when a voter who holds democratic views has preferred a Republican candidate and the vice versa. Don’t forget independent voters too, who do not always like the independent candidate as much either.

   By voting this way, you could end up with two Democrats are facing one another, or two Republicans, etc. This means that the two most desired candidates are truly challenging one another.


   Many who argue against this system claim it is bad because it keeps small parties from ever making it on the board. If you ask me I disagree. People will vote for who they agree with, and it should be about the candidates’ views, not the party label they run under, so how can people actually getting what they vote for be a bad thing?

   California has historically voted for the democratic party for a while. This year though is significant. It is a Democrat versus a Republican in a state that has been ‘colored blue’ for years.

   Many big-name politicians despise this way of voting, so people may see this way disappear if they do enough convincing, but for now, the method is the way it will be. There were efforts in Oregon to pass this method of voting back in 2007 but they were shut down.

   Will Ohio ever see a voting system this way? I do not think so. Does this give voters more choices? Yes. Maybe one day we can see methods of voting like this used to expand our voting freedoms and give us the opportunity to back any candidate we like, despite our political affiliations.

Kelsey Fitzpatrick
Staff Writer

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