In vetoing Senate Bill 1288, which would have permitted Ranked Choice Voting in local governments, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a message arguing that elections need to be simpler.

If only he’d take his own advice.

Brown’s veto message was: “In a time we want to encourage more voter participation, we need to keep voting simple. Ranked Choice Voting is overly complicated and confusing. I believe it deprives voters of genuinely informed choice.”

One could have an argument about Ranked Choice voting, but that’s for another day. Instead, why not admire what Brown writes: What a principle!

If Brown were to follow it, he’d take on the top two system that he’s praised. It makes things more complicated, after all. In the first round voting, huge lists of candidates can clog the ballots leading to overvotes (as we saw in the first-round voting on the U.S. Senate race in June). In the second round, voters may have little choice—with two similar candidates from the same party.

It would mean he would reverse his own measure that makes November ballots “overly complicated and confusing” by stacking all ballot initiatives in November, and preventing them from appearing on June or other ballots.

And it would mean finally taking on and simplifying the bloated constitution and the complicated budget system. Both add to the confusion faced by voters, who are constantly asked to make judgments on measures that would change the constitutional and budget systems. One author of complicated and confusing measures has been Gov. Brown himself, particularly with his rainy day fund amendment that was approved by voters. Voters didn’t get much clarity there, because the measure wasn’t clear and there wasn’t a real campaign against it.

Gov. Brown has also confounded voters with highly complicated and technical plans he’s pushed on everything from the Bay Delta to the state’s new accountability system in education.

Which makes one wonder if he really cares about confusing voters. Or whether he just doesn’t like Ranked Choice Voting.