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Russell Pearce Calls Proposition 121 Open Primary “un-American”

by Ted Downing, published

Former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce came out strongly against Proposition 121 in a statement to all voters published by the Arizona Secretary of State.

“Don’t be fooled”, the nationally known author of Arizona's SB1070 says.

Americans love choices and we ought to have lots of them, especially in our politics and candidates. Telling Arizonans that they are only allowed to have two candidates to choose from is un-American. This initiative discriminates against smaller parties and Independents. It actually will discriminate against Republicans and Democrats too. Because most districts are very Republican or very Democrat, voters in those districts will have two candidates from the same party to choose from. In roughly 20 of Arizona’s 30 legislative district, you won’t even have two parties to choose from, so Democrats in Republican districts will only have two Republicans to choose from and Republicans in Democrat districts will only have two Democrats to choose from.

Russell Pearce claims initiative supporters want to change the rules because they want to change the type of candidate who wins. Pearce was defeated in 2011 by Jerry Lewis, a Republican, in a recall election that all voters, not just Republicans, to vote. He was the first sitting Senate President in American history to be recalled.

Pearce claims that “rigging the rules to ensure that only a specific type of candidate can win is un-American and very dangerous for Arizona.”

Frank Henry, election integrity activist in the Verde Valley of Arizona thinks the elections are currently rigged by election laws written by the two political parties. Although they let other voices, like third parties, be heard but the election is rigged so that neither they nor an independent candidate can win. In its 100 years as a state, not a single third party candidate or independent has ever been elected to statewide office or the legislature.

Henry notes that:

By law, non-Party candidates must be listed last on the ballots, need four to five times as many signatures to get on the ballot, and must pay for the voting list that is given free to the recognized political parties.

He then asks, “How is a proposition that gives all voters equal access to vote in every election “un-American?” And “how is it un-American for candidates to have equal access to be placed on the ballot?”

In contrast, non-partisan top-two elections take place in every Arizona town and municipality and at the school board level since statehood. Are these elections “un-American?" he asks.

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