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Sarasota News Leader May 17, 2013 Page 22 between Republicans Jon Thaxton and Kathy Dent. Since only Republicans could vote in that race, more than 150,000 registered voters were prevented from having a say in who their supervisor of elections is. Dent won that campaign by earning the support of just 7.8 percent of county voters. This angered many, and it was an inspiration for the launch of Open Our Elections. Nonpartisan elections would eliminate the loophole exploited by Brill and the Republican Party last year. If independents and Democrats want a say, why don't they just run candidates of their own? Another good question! Has anyone told you how smart you are? And handsome! Jon Thaxton. Photo by Norman Schimmel Open Our Elections argues that all voters should have a voice in every race and that that month that independents "take themselves right shouldn't be subject to the whims of the out of the primary" and are then "stuck with the results." His advice? "Don't register as inparties. dependent." Why don't area independents and Demo"We'd be happy to register people over," he crats just register as Republicans? said. Some did! Last year, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office records showed that So how would nonpartisan elections func288 Democrats flipped their party registration tion? to Republican between June 1 (the day Brill filed her paperwork) and July 16 (the dead- The calendar would remain the same, with a line to register for the primary). Of course first round of voting in August. Every registhere's no way of knowing how many did so tered voter could participate. If no one wins just to vote in the Thaxton-Dent race, but a a majority, then a runoff is held between the decent-sized chunk of that number probably top two vote-getters in November. did. But then they couldn't vote in any DemoWho else has nonpartisan elections? cratic primaries! Republican Party of Sarasota County Chair- According to Open Our Elections, Leon, Orman Joe Gruters told the News Leader last ange, Columbia, Volusia and Miami-Dade

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