A modest proposal: Bar Dems and GOP from local elections

An interesting academic study, for local politics geeks like me: Harvard Law's David Schleicher argues that the real reason local elections are so uncompetitive is because people are distracted by their national party affiliations.

His solution: Bar the national parties from local elections.

"To attack the problem head on, a state could repeal the unitary party rules that are not constitutionally mandated, refusing to guarantee local ballot places for parties based on statewide votes and passing a law opening local primaries to all voters. 30 This may result in a local party that is in the minority reconstituting itself for the purposes of local elections as a broader coalition. If this did not work, a state could also take a more dramatic step: it could bar any party that chooses to register for national and state elections from getting a place on the ballot for local elections.31 Only purely local parties could compete. These policies would spur the rejiggering of local voters among existing parties or the creation of new parties without reference to their membership in national parties."

You can read his full, very academic, paper here; and while it's hard to see his remedy getting legislated, it's an interesting way to explain the problem of anemic local elections in November.