The presidential nominating process is over. The numbers of people turning in their mail ballots are way down. The propositions are pretty much meaningless. And the main attraction is a primary election that doesn’t have party primaries, which is sort of like an ice cream social without ice cream.

Welcome to the utterly pointless June 5 primary elections in California.

Why not cancel them?

Who would complain? There’s nothing that’s happening in these elections that couldn’t be handled in November.

There are only two statewide ballot propositions. They could be moved without doing any material harm to the measures and their goals. Heck, Gov. Brown and the Democrats pushed legislation that eliminates initiatives from primary ballots, so everything will be on the general election ballot in future cycles anyway. This is bad policy (California desperately needs a separate election calendar for ballot measures that permits regular votes every few months) but why fight it?

And on legislative elections, the two rounds of voting are pointless. As former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis asked recently in the LA Times, “Now you’ve got this nonpartisan primary, which I just don’t understand. What’s the point of having a primary if it’s not partisan?”

Since voters of each party aren’t having a moment to make their choice, you could consolidate the two elections – primary and general – into one. Simply use a ranked choice voting method, and you’d replicate the two-step selection process of the top-two. And save a bunch of money.

Instead, it looks like we’re going to have a pointless, expensive election with a low turnout from California’s relatively small community of voters (I’m proud not to be one of them), a group that is unrepresentative of the state. Nothing those voters will do can fix the budget and governance crisis, because no measures address that crisis and no one elected in California can do much about it, given all the problems and contradictions embedded in the constitution.

And yes, one could argue that these elections are constitutionally required. To that argument, the best response is: so is a balanced budget.

Cancel this election!