BREAKING: AZ Supreme Court Clears Way for Open Primary Initiative

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Arizona’s Supreme Court today reversed a previous Superior Court ruling which struck the Open Elections/Open Government Act from November’s general election ballot. The initiative implements open primary elections in the state of Arizona and ends funding of party committee positions. Maricopa Superior Court Judge Mark Brain previously ruled the initiative violated Arizona’s single subject rule, and issued an injunction barring its inclusion on the ballot. Today’s ruling reverses this decision and upholds the initiative as constitutional.

In a press release statement from the Open Elections/Open Government Act supporters:

“This is a clear victory for Arizona voters, and a defeat for those who want the status quo,” said Rick Romley, former Maricopa County Attorney and one of the key supporters of the ballot measure.  “Our political process is obviously broken, and with today’s ruling the voters will have a chance to reform the system.

 

“We were always confident that the will of over 365,000 voters would prevail in court, and with this ruling, we are now even more confident we will prevail in November,” said Sarah Smallhouse, Tucson community leader and one of the leaders of the campaign in Southern Arizona.

One of the ballot measure’s co-authors, Ted Downing, expressed relief the initiative survived a “partisan pothole”.

“What I saw was the Republican establishment and the mostly-Democratic leadership of the League of Women Voters put aside their differences and combine forces to try and deny voters their right to decide how they are governed,” said Downing.

“The court, just like the Founders, supported the people,” he continued. “I’m just imagining all our nation’s Founding Fathers are looking down and applauding.”

The court’s order can be viewed here.

For more background on the Open Elections/Open Government Act court battle, see previous IVN reports:

Open Primary Appeal Reaches Arizona Supreme Court

Finance Clause Cripples Arizona Open Primary Initiative