Note: My purpose in the previous post was not to criticize people who did not have the chance to vote. I was merely pondering the question about different voting systems.
A friend of mine pointed out recently that many people do not vote in the primaries if they feel that their party is not really having a contest. Maria Cantwell's race is a good example of this because she was never really in danger from any of her challengers. Therefore, if you are a Democrat you might just decide to let the whole thing ride until Election Day when your vote will really be needed. This may be a fine theory but there is at least one big flaw. In this election we had several judgeships up for grabs as well as the other races. I was very surprised to discover that judgeships in Washington State (again according to my very clever friend) are often awarded in the primaries without any further contest in the November election. In our most recent primary we had four different judicial "races" and three of them were decided on that day (the last one went to a November run-off). Given the amount of power judges have been exercising lately these positions really do count for something significant. The tough part is in getting good info on which judges best represent your opinions. Endorsements are helpful, but hardly enough to feel you've made an informed decision.