Democrat Steve Glazer will be sworn in today to the state Senate from the 7th District. Since Steve’s election victory by over 11,500 votes on May 19, I have read comments in news articles that if this was a closed Democratic pimary, Steve would not have won or if it was a regular special, Steve would not have won, and a lot of ifs.
First point: The last closed Democratic primary (only registered Democrats could vote) was in 1996. In 1998 and 2000, California had the Blanket Primary (Proposition 198), so all primary voters got the same ballot. The Blanket Primary was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000.Then the California Democratic Party decided to allow decline-to-state voters (independents) to vote in our primaries from 2002 on. Only Two (Proposition 14) was put on the ballot by both parties, (mostly Democrats) and it passed (53.8 percent in June 2010) so we have had the Only Two system (one Party, in many cases), for the 2012 and 2014 election cycles.
Incidentally, Proposition 62, an initiative to create an Only Two system was defeated with a 53.9 percent No vote (November 2004).
Second point: Prior to the Only Two system, special elections for decades had a Blanket ballot, just like in the 7th Senate District primary on March 17.
The difference is that in pre-2012 Specials, the top vote getter of each party went to the runoff (but if one candidate got over 50%, then no runoff).Thus, since Steve Glazer came in first overall on March 17, ahead of Bonilla by 10,022 votes, under the previous Special Election Rules, Steve would have been on the May 19 ballot against only the Republican candidate (Michaela Hertle), since no third-party candidate filed (Only Two has driven minor parties into oblivion). And yet, some have commented that Steve would not have won, “if” the election was under previous voting systems.
If Steve lived in Nevada, he would not have been elected, but as far as all the other election systems are concerned, Steve would have been elected.