Star-Crossed Voting

STAR voting is a terrible idea (“When You Wish Upon a STAR,” Sept. 13).  Turning our elections into popularity contests, with voters having to assign “stars” to candidates, would encourage election of celebrities, not serious policy makers. Do we want more stars like Trump at all levels of government? 

It’s hard enough to get people to vote when they only have to fill in an oval for the candidate they prefer. Making them assign stars to multiple candidates is extremely complicated and will suppress voting by anyone not a political junkie. 

The STAR voting proposal on our county ballot would be limited to non-partisan elections, but its backers are honest about their intention to extend it to partisan races as well. If implemented, it would undermine the role of political parties, which provide at least some clue about the policy objectives of their candidates. People would vote for personalities, not political programs. Name familiarity would triumph. 

Awarding stars belongs in elementary schools (do they still do that?), not our elections.

Stefan Ostrach


Stefan Ostrach serves on the State Committee of the Oregon Working Families Party. The views expressed in this letter are his own.