I'd like to propose a four-part election to replace our current system:
(1) APPLICATION. On day one of the campaign, eligible citizens can apply for the office, at the local, state, or federal board of elections (depending on the office). The application window closes after seven days, at which time the board publishes a list of applicants.
(2) NOMINATION. At this time, any eligible voter can go to their local board of elections office and sign a petition to nominate any number of applicants. After four weeks, the petitions are closed, and the N candidates with the most signatures for each office receive a nomination. (N is set by law, and can be different for each office; N > 2.) The board of elections publishes the lists of nominees at this time.
(3) PRIMARY ELECTION. After six weeks to campaign, a primary election is held. The ballots are a ranked-choice voting system. All but two candidates for each office are eliminated using instant-runoff rules. The polls should be open for a week.
(4) GENERAL ELECTION. After a final four weeks of campaigning, a general election is held between the two candidates for each office. No write-in or none-of-the-above voting is allowed. The polls should be open for a week.
The entire process takes four months.