The commission stated, “The partisan system has caused elected officials to oppose the other party’s ideas for strictly political reasons in divided government, and when there is one-party control, there has been infighting on public display that has prevented consensus building.”
The commission cited the research of Dr. Julia Sass Rubin, director of Rutgers’ Public Policy Program, which showed that candidates who run “on the line,” with the endorsement of the local political parties, “have a 35% stronger performance than those that are ‘off the line.'”
Therefore, the commission stated, nonpartisan elections “would allow any individual that is interested in running for office without having to compete in a party primary.”
Instead of candidates with the most votes winning outright, the commission proposes runoff elections if candidates do not pass a certain threshold to represent a majority of voters based on the race.
The report stated, “This structure would protect against the infrequent possibility of having a mayor or entire council slate elected with a small plurality of the vote and lacking the legitimacy of having a majority support from voters.”