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Initiative would switch Arizona primary to 'top 2'


PHOENIX (AP) — A group led by former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson on Tuesday proposed a major redesign of Arizona's election system, launching a ballot measure campaign to ask voters to replace the current separate party primaries with a single ballot.

Under the proposal, the two candidates who receive the most votes in the single primary, regardless of political party, would advance to the general election.

Currently, the top vote-getter from each party's separate primary runs in the general election.

Tuesday's filing allows supporters to start collecting the 259,213 voter signatures they need to file by July 2012 to qualify the proposed constitutional amendment for the November ballot.


3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Barry Hess
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Contact:  Barry Hess

               Communications Director,

                Arizona Libertarian Party



Democrat/Republican Extremist Group Seeks to Squelch Voter Choices


Seeking to cover their rapidly shrinking membership numbers, the Republican/Democrat party has resorted to a “Hail Mary” play with the announcement that they have formed a “multi-partisan” group to do away with Arizona’s present primary electoral process and seek to alter the Arizona Constitution to do it.


Calling the Republican/Democrat party “multi-partisan” is in itself an oxymoron, but the terminology is designed to give the impression that there is support beyond their club for such a drastic measure when there is none.


The group, deceptively calling itself the “The Arizona Open Government Coalition” uses front men former Democrat Gubernatorial candidate, Paul Johnson and former Republican Congressional candidate, Paulina Morris to convince Arizonans to fall in line with a nationally funded effort to limit public political discourse.   


The Libertarian and Green parties don’t tend to agree on the role of government in the lives of individual Citizens or much else, but what they do agree on is that every political voice needs to be heard and have joined forces to fight this overt attempt to eliminate their particular views from political discussion.


Angel Torres, Co-Chairman of the Arizona Green Party with Linda J Macias, who have worked tirelessly for its provisional ballot status, made clear their party’s opposition, “They’ve put this thing together to tighten their [Republican/Democrat] grip on the throat of the political process, and to destroy any hope for real, substantive political change.  In their draft of the proposal they claim they just want to eliminate ‘extremist’ views, but they wrongly assume that their views are ‘mainstream’ anymore.  For instance, opposition to multiple unjustified, unsustainable wars.  It’s only their fear of losing control of the political process and the nation’s purse strings that drive this kind of thing.  The media need only take a look at the numbers that are fleeing their party(s) to know why they are scared—and they should be.”


Warren Severin, Chairman of the Arizona Libertarian Party pointed out that in every state, county or municipality where the control group for this measure has been successful in getting it implemented, it has completely obliterated all other party candidates, leaving only the Republican/Democrat incumbent candidates in the race where previously the voters had enjoyed real choices.


“We had to fight all the way to the District Court to close our primary to insure the Libertarian philosophy could be honestly represented on the ballot.  Back then, it was this same group attempting to use their operatives, signed up as Independents to overwhelm our modest, but now exploding numbers, to put their candidates on the ballot under our good name.  We saw through the ruse then, and this time it’s crystal clear—they’re back with a new disguise.  They’re just desperate and trying this stunt before their numbers are too small to have any effect.”


“The draft measure claims they seek to eliminate ‘extremists’, but glaringly neglects definition, or address what they maintain the ‘mainstream” is.  I think it’s a sad, pitiful attempt to pervert the political process” said Barry Hess, former Libertarian Gubernatorial nominee and current Communications Director, “and while I doubt they’ll even get the 250,000 valid signatures they’d need to get it on the ballot, if they do, our non-partisan alliance is ready to meet them on the streets, in the media and at the ballot box. 


If this nonsense were to be implemented, they’d better add a provision allowing the voters to cast theirs for N.O.T.A. [None of the Above].” 
Comment by G Cone
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My view: Political parties are private clubs and should finance and conduct their own nominating process for who they endorse. Why are taxpayers even forced to pay for primary elections? 

Comment by Powell Gammill
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