Sen. President Donald Williams and 23 other Democratic Senators were cross-endorsed in the 2012 election by both the Democratic party and a third party, but Williams proposed getting rid of the cross-endorsement system Monday because he says it causes confusion for voters.
He told the General Administration and Elections Committee that 44 states have no ability to cross endorse a candidate. He said it’s confusing for voters to have the same candidate appear on two lines on the ballot and could cause problems such as overvoting.
Miles Rapoport, president of Demos and a former Secretary of the State, also opposed the bill. Rapoport said he did not think there should be a party called the Independent Party since it could confuse voters. Still he said the legislature shouldn’t move to eliminate it at the present time. He also acknowledged a recent shift in the party.
“It does feel like something happened during the 2010 and 2012 elections,” he said.
But no matter what happened, Rapoport believes minor parties create a richer democracy and allow candidates to give more information about themselves to the voters. The cross-endorsement also gives voters who don’t belong to one of the two major parties an opportunity to vote for a candidate, he said.