HARRISBURG – Two Republican state senators plan to introduce legislation to ensure that candidates that win their primary election are supported by at least half of primary voters. In a co-sponsorship memo, Lancaster County Sen. Ryan Aument and Bucks County Sen. Frank Farry say there have been a number of primary elections that attract a large number of candidates. In large, competitive primaries, a candidate can win with the support of only a small fraction of voters which leads to voters feeling dissatisfied and unrepresented in general elections, especially in areas where there is one-party dominance, and the winner of the dominant party primary election is almost always the winner of the general election. In all scenarios, the winner of a primary election should emerge as a clear consensus pick of that party and this legislation is a step towards that goal. A runoff election system creates a possibility for a second primary election if no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote in a primary election, then a second, or runoff, election is held between the top two candidates. Under our proposal, the candidates with the most votes in the runoff election would be declared the winner. The proposal would only apply to primary elections. Currently, ten states require a runoff in primary elections if candidates do not win with a certain required threshold for victory.
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