Elections and conventionsIf you haven't voted in the May Primary yet (early voting will be underway until the 27th) the News-Sentinel reviews the rules for using a write-in ballot in Tennessee in today's edition. By now, even the world outside of Tennessee (at least those who read blogs) are aware of why this after-thought of an election question is now required information for most Knox County voters.
The confision brought about by the State Supreme Court decision was preventable, however, because the Court could have issued an order (it can do that) staying enforcement of the ruling until the next applicable election cycle. It would have prevented confusion and left Election Commissioner Greg MacKay with a much easier job. As it stands now, most of the write-ins do not stand a chance at absolute victory, though they might get nominated at their District Convention (I was going to gun for this).
That's another issue. I am a firm believer that the convention/caucus system (as opposed to Primaries) is the right way for both parties to choose candidates to begin with (as opposed to the Primary alone being the determining factor) so the parties ought to hold these conventions every single election cycle. However, as we all know, this isn't the way things work-these conventions are a rarity, and my guess is that the parties were unprepared for the cost of putting them on or finding places to hold them.
Aside from holding District Conventions more frequently (which is solely a prerogative of the two political parties), perhaps we need some sort of constitutional change to prevent this sort of confusion from ever happening again in the wake of a strange Supreme Court decision. If you think it won't happen again, remember that we did not think it would happen to begin with.