In turn, this proposal (now cleared) is a replacement of the state’s former “blanket primary” that was (along with California’s) invalidated some years ago by the federal supreme court.
A blanket primary ensures that each officially recognized party has its leading candidate appear in the general election, but permits voters to choose a candidate of one party in one office and another in another office. The parties did not like that, and sued (successfully) to stop it.
The new “Louisiana-style” system effectively eliminates party primaries altogether. The top two candidates from the first round, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the runoff. As Benjamin Lukoff puts it (in the linked item):
could the Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians â€” who banded together to sink the blanket primary and unsuccessfully challenge the new system â€” decide that at least under IRV2 their candidates are certain to appear on the November ballot? After all, “top two” will likely result in Republicans being absent from the fall ballot in Seattle, Democrats likewise in Wenatchee, and Libertarians, Greens, and the rest of them nowhere at all.
Indeed, and that is why this top-two system is a very bad ‘reform.’ It is, in fact, a democratic retrogression.