Maricopa County Attorney opposes open primary initiative

September 05, 2012

The proposed Open Government/Open Elections initiative has been in court a lot lately. Opponents question the validity of a number of petition signatures, but the proposition has survived so far, and the Arizona Supreme Court will have a say.

If the initative makes it to the November ballot and is approved by voters, it would change the state's primary system. One major provision would have the top to vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

UCSD Political Science Professor Thad Kousser will talk about California's open primary system, which had its first test in that state's June election. Every voter was given the same ballot at the polling place. The system came about by moderate politicians who wanted a better shot at victory in California politics.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is leading the opposition to the open primary, Save Our Vote. He believes the current system affords every citizen the opportunity to run for office or support any candidate. He said an open primary free-for-all results in candidates from the same party at the top of the ballot in a general election.

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