Arizona Pushing for Open Primary

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Arizona has the opportunity to place an open primary initiative on their November ballot. The Arizona Open Elections/Open Government Initiative has been collecting signatures as it attempts to uproot the election system in its home state. Prior to the July 5 deadline, the group must collect 259,213 signatures to get the system on the statewide ballot. The system Open Elections/Open Government Initiative is promoting is similar to the open primary system Californians passed in 2010 and Washington passed in 2004. Yesterday the Green Valley News and Sun published an article profiling the project and Ted Downing, who has taken the reins on the initiative.

The author of the article points out that the project and Mr. Downing are targets for the parties, but have voter registration on their side.

“He’s got both major parties gunning for him. He doesn’t mind — he figures he’s got the numbers on his side. Already, there are more independents registered in Arizona than Democrats, and he expects them to surpass the Republicans by early next year.” 

With more Arizonans registering as Independents, they are realizing several of the difficulties in the Arizona electoral system that attempts to block them out of the process. In Arizona, Independent candidates only receive 70% of public campaign funding as party candidates, they are often shut out of election season interviews by influential candidates, and Independent voters have to contact the state to receive ballots that are otherwise mailed to party members. All of which are called “procedural discrimination” by Ted Downing who points out that the process, “prevents Independent voters and candidates from consenting to how they are governed.”

For the whole article visit Green Valley News and Sun.