The gentleman that answered the phone seemed concerned and helpful and promised to check into the problem right away and get back to me with a solution. He also pointed out another portion of the site where the information can be accessed (though not the place most would look).
CREATING AN OPEN PRIMARY GIVING ALL QUALIFIED VOTERS THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATES OF THEIR CHOICE, PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF ARIZONA; AMENDING ARTICLE VII OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ARIZONA RELATING TO DIRECT PRIMARY ELECTION LAW
A. This initiative will ensure that every person qualified to vote, including those not affiliated with any political party, has the right to vote at any election for any candidate, regardless of the voter's or the candidate's party affiliation or lack of party affiliation.
(2) Creates in its place an Open "Top Two" Primary Election, in which all candidates running for an office appear together on the same ballot and all qualified voters (regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof) are able to vote for the candidate of their choice. The two candidates receiving the highest vote totals for each office would then go on to face each other in the general election.
C. This proposition applies to all Arizona elections in which a candidate's party affiliation, registration, or preference may appear on the ballot. It does not apply to elections in which no party affiliation, registration, or preference appears on the ballot, and it also does not apply to the system for the election of President and Vice President of the United States.
Section 10. The Legislature shall enact a direct primary election law, which shall provide for the nomination of candidates for all elective State, county, and city offices, including candidates for United States Senator and for Representative in Congress. Any person who is registered as no party preference or independent as the party preference or who is registered with a political party that is not qualified for representation on the ballot may vote in the primary election of any one of the political parties that is qualified for the ballot.
A. APPLICABILITY . THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO THE ELECTION OF CANDIDATES FOR ALL FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, AND LOCAL ELECTIVE OFFICES EXCEPT (1) THOSE IN WHICH NO PARTY AFFILIATION, REGISTRATION, OR PREFERENCE MAY APPEAR ON THE ELECTION BALLOT AND (2) THE SYSTEM FOR THE ELECTION OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES .
B. RIGHTS OF VOTERS . ALL QUALIFIED VOTERS SHALL BE GUARANTEED THE UNRESTRICTED RIGHT TO VOTE FOR THE QUALIFIED CANDIDATE OF THEIR CHOICE IN ALL ELECTIONS. NO VOTER SHALL BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR THE QUALIFIED CANDIDATE OF HIS OR HER CHOICE IN A PRIMARY OR GENERAL ELECTION BASED UPON HIS OR HER PARTY AFFILIATION OR LACK THEREOF. VOTERS SHALL BE PERMITTED TO STATE THEIR PARTY PREFERENCE (IF ANY) IN THEIR OWN WORDS ON THEIR VOTER REGISTRATION FORM, AND SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO SELECTING FROM A LIST OF RECOGNIZED PARTIES OR AFFILIATIONS .
C. PROCEDURE . FOR OFFICES TO WHICH THIS SECTION APPLIES, AN OPEN PRIMARY ELECTION SHALL BE CONDUCTED TO SELECT THE CANDIDATES WHO COMPETE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. ALL REGISTERED VOTERS MAY VOTE IN THE OPEN PRIMARY ELECTION FOR ANY QUALIFIED CANDIDATE, PROVIDED THAT THE VOTER IS OTHERWISE QUALIFIED TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES FOR THE OFFICE IN QUESTION. THE TWO CANDIDATES WHO RECEIVE THE MOST VOTES IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION SHALL COMPETE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION; EXCEPT THAT, FOR ANY OFFICE TO WHICH MORE THAN ONE CANDIDATE WILL BE ELECTED, THE NUMBER OF CANDIDATES WHO WILL COMPETE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION SHALL BE THE NUMBER OF CANDIDATES TO BE ELECTED TIMES TWO. THIS SECTION DOES NOT PROHIBIT WRITE-IN VOTING IN EITHER THE PRIMARY OR GENERAL ELECTION AS OTHERWISE PRESCRIBED BY LAW .
D. FILING REQUIREMENT . ALL CANDIDATES WISHING TO RUN FOR AN ELECTIVE OFFICE TO WHICH THIS SECTION APPLIES SHALL FILE, WITH THE APPROPRIATE ELECTIONS OFFICER, PETITIONS CONTAINING THE SIGNATURES OF REGISTERED VOTERS IN AN AMOUNT TO BE ESTABLISHED BY LAW. THE SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE BASED ON THE TOTAL VOTES CAST FOR THAT OFFICE IN THE PREVIOUS GENERAL ELECTION AND SHALL BE THE SAME FOR ALL CANDIDATES FOR THAT OFFICE, REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION OR LACK THEREOF .
E. RIGHTS OF CANDIDATES . AT THE TIME THEY FILE TO RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE, EVERY CANDIDATE SHALL HAVE THE CHOICE TO DECLARE HIS OR HER PARTY PREFERENCE (IF ANY) AS IT IS STATED ON THEIR VOTER REGISTRATION FORM, UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 20 CHARACTERS. THAT PARTY PREFERENCE (IF ANY) SHALL APPEAR ON THE CANDIDATE'S NOMINATION PETITIONS AND ON THE PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION BALLOTS USING THE PHRASE "REGISTERED AS _________ ." ON THE BALLOTS, THE WORDS "REGISTERED AS" MAY BE USED IN A COLUMN HEADING OR OTHER PREFATORY TEXT RATHER THAN BEING REPEATED NEXT TO THE PARTY PREFERENCE OF EACH CANDIDATE, SO LONG AS THE WORDS "REGISTERED AS" REMAIN PROMINENTLY STATED AND CLEAR TO THE READER. IF NO PARTY PREFERENCE IS STATED ON A CANDIDATE'S VOTER REGISTRATION FORM, THEN NO DESIGNATION SHALL APPEAR ON THE NOMINATION PETITIONS OR BALLOT WITH THE CANDIDATE'S NAME.
F. BALLOT LANGUAGE . IN ALL GOVERNMENT-ISSUED VOTER EDUCATION MATERIALS THAT CONTAIN A LIST OF CANDIDATES STANDING FOR ELECTION AND ON EVERY PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT, THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE SHALL BE PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED: "THE PARTY REGISTRATION (IF ANY) STATED WITH THE CANDIDATES' NAMES ON THIS BALLOT IS NOT AN INDICATION THAT A CANDIDATE HAS BEEN NOMINATED OR ENDORSED BY THAT PARTY, BUT ONLY REFLECTS THE PARTY REGISTRATION (IF ANY) OF THE CANDIDATE."
G. RIGHTS OF POLITICAL PARTIES . NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL RESTRICT THE RIGHT OF INDIVIDUALS TO JOIN OR ORGANIZE INTO POLITICAL PARTIES OR IN ANY WAY RESTRICT THE RIGHT OF PRIVATE ASSOCIATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL RESTRICT THE PARTIES' RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTE TO, ENDORSE, OR OTHERWISE SUPPORT OR OPPOSE CANDIDATES FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE. POLITICAL PARTIES MAY ESTABLISH SUCH PROCEDURES AS THEY SEE FIT TO ELECT PARTY OFFICERS, ENDORSE OR SUPPORT CANDIDATES, OR OTHERWISE PARTICIPATE IN ALL ELECTIONS, BUT NO SUCH PROCEDURES SHALL BE PAID FOR OR SUBSIDIZED USING PUBLIC FUNDS .
H. LEVEL PLAYING FIELD . ALL QUALIFIED VOTERS AND CANDIDATES SHALL BE TREATED EQUALLY BY STATUTES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING ELECTIONS REGARDLESS OF THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION OR LACK THEREOF. TO THE EXTENT THAT ANY PRIVILEGES OR PROCEDURES ARE MADE AVAILABLE TO CANDIDATES OR POLITICAL PARTIES, THEY SHALL BE MADE EQUALLY AVAILABLE TO ALL CANDIDATES OR POLITICAL PARTIES, REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION, RECOGNITION, OR LACK THEREOF .
If any provision of this initiative is held invalid for any reason, the remaining portions of this initiative will be severed from the void portion and given the fullest possible force and application. The people of Arizona declare their intention that the provisions of this initiative are severable.
If approved by the voters, this Constitutional Amendment shall apply to all elections occurring after January 1, 2014, and shall supersede any existing state statutes, regulations, and elections procedures to the extent that they are inconsistent with this Constitutional Amendment. The Legislature, Secretary of State and local officials shall promptly make such changes in and additions to state statutes, regulations, and elections procedures as are necessary to fully implement the provisions of this Constitutional Amendment in time for the open primary election in 2014 and for every open primary and general election thereafter. Legislation, regulations, and elections procedures implementing this amendment must be consistent with and further the purpose of this amendment to permit and encourage all qualified voters in Arizona to vote in primary and general elections for the candidates of their choice, regardless of the political affiliation of voters and candidates.
Beginning with the 2014 elections, Proposition 121 would amend the Arizona Constitution by eliminating the longstanding primary election that allows each recognized political party in Arizona to select its own nominee for the general election. In its place would be a primary election system in which registered voters may vote for candidates regardless of political affiliation. A funding source has not been identified that will pay the cost of the open top two primary election that will replace the current system. Additionally, the number of candidates who appear on the general election ballot would be limited to only the two who receive the most votes and any qualified write-in candidates, except that, for any office to which more than one candidate shall be elected, the number of candidates who will compete in the general election shall be the number of candidates to be elected times two. Currently, all candidates who receive the most votes in their party primary appear on the general election ballot. This often results in more than two candidates appearing on the general election ballot.
Under Proposition 121, the signature requirement for candidates wishing to run in the open primary election for an office would be based on the total votes cast for all candidates for that office at the previous general election and would be the same for all candidates regardless of party affiliation or lack of affiliation. Each candidate who declared a party preference on their voter registration form would have that preference listed, up to twenty characters, on the nominating petition and on the primary and general election ballots. If no party preference is declared on a candidate's registration form, no preference would be listed on the petition and ballots. All government-issued voter education materials and ballots would contain a notice that any political party registration listed for a candidate is not an indication that the candidate has been nominated or endorsed by that political party.
Proposition 121 provides that individuals may organize or join political parties and that political parties may elect party officers, support or oppose candidates and otherwise participate in all elections, if the party activity is not paid for or subsidized using public funds. All voters, candidates and political parties must be treated equally, regardless of party affiliation or lack of affiliation. When registering to vote, voters would be allowed to state any party preference in their own words and would not be limited to selecting from a list of recognized political parties or affiliations.
The proposition leaves to future Legislatures and governing bodies a number of issues, including who will have access to the statewide voter database, how vacancies will be handled, what percentage of votes will be set each year as the number of petition signatures required by each candidate for each office to qualify for the ballot, how to pay for the two tier election and how to pay for the cost of implementation and conforming legislation. The Department of Justice must pre-clear any changes.
State law requires the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Staff to prepare a summary of the fiscal impact of certain ballot measures. Proposition 121 would replace the partisan primary election with an open "top two" primary election. The state government is currently responsible for the cost of sample ballots sent to voters. By consolidating the different types of party sample ballots, Proposition 121 is projected to reduce printing costs and result in a state government savings of $(165,000) to $(278,000).
Local governments currently pay the other primary election expenses. Proposition 121 is expected to increase these expenses due to greater production and mailing of ballots primarily to independent voters on the early voting list who do not currently receive a primary ballot. The open primary may also increase the number of ballot pages. The additional local government cost is projected to range from $440,000 to $2 million.
The Open Elections Open Government system allows all Arizonans to vote in an open primary for the candidate of their choice, regardless of their party affiliation. It ends the current system of taxpayer-funded partisan primaries, and gives Independent voters and candidates an equal voice in the election process.
Under Open Elections all candidates for an office run on the same ballot in an August Primary. All voters can vote in this primary election. Then the top two vote getters face each other in a runoff election.
Under the existing taxpayer-funded partisan primaries, small minorities of voters select candidates who often represent the ideological extremes of the parties. Under the current system, Independent voters, who are the fastest growing category of voters in Arizona and the U.S., have little or no role in the process. In fact, in Arizona 26 out of 30 legislative districts are gerrymandered, or "safe" districts and thus the voters have no choice in the general election. The true majority of voters are cut out of the process.
Allowing every voter the right to vote in every election will result in elected officials who have to be accessible to all voters not just a powerful few. It will encourage elected officials to be more respectful and listen to the views of others for the public good.
|Paid for by Open Government Committee|
Greater Phoenix Leadership ( GPL ) is a non-profit organization whose members represent a broad range of the Phoenix Region's largest employers and our philanthropic community. Our focus and purpose is to improve the economic vitality and quality of life in the greater Phoenix region and the State of Arizona by bringing together talent, resources and leadership to create results on priority issues.
Public policy decisions at every level of government in Arizona impact the quality of life of all Arizonans, as well as the strength and vitality of our businesses and our State's economy. Insuring a quality education system, strong workforce development, an environment in which businesses of all sizes can grow and provide jobs, and sound fiscal policies in our State, county and local governments are all critical public policy decisions. Elections provide a unique opportunity for every voter to impact public policy at all levels of government, and is a responsibility that determines our future.
GPL believes in a representative democracy, and that every voice is important. At a time when the majority of elections are being determined by a minority of voters, GPL sees this as an opportunity to re-engage the electorate.
|Paid for by Greater Phoenix Leadership|
After a careful and thorough evaluation of the Open Elections Open Government Initiative, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council has chosen to endorse this significant election reform measure on the 2012 ballot.
Central to SALC's operations is the belief that a successful community relies and builds upon all of its resources--civic leaders, government officials, engaged citizens and business officials. SALC believes there is a shared responsibility for creating an economically vibrant region in which to live and work.
As an organization we feel that our region and Arizona as a whole need our elected leaders to represent all of the people of our state. With Open Elections all citizens will be allowed to vote in all elections. This means that candidates will be encouraged to campaign and discuss the significant issues facing Arizona, not to a select few in partisan primaries, but to members of all political parties and to the growing number of Independents also. Typically one party or another dominates a legislative district which means that for all practical purposes whoever wins the partisan primary will be victorious in the general election. Open Elections changes that dynamic in a positive way with all voters choosing among all candidates in a primary and the top two moving on to a runoff general election. Every voter is involved in every step of the election process.
|Paid for by Southern Arizona Leadership Council|
In the ten years I have served on the Scottsdale City Council I have run in three municipal elections. The great thing about our nonpartisan municipal elections is every voter, regardless of party registration, has the choice to vote for any candidate in the primary and general elections, regardless of the candidate's party affiliation. This gives Scottsdale voters the maximum opportunity to vote for the people they believe will best represent them on the City Council.
The Open Elections Open Government Initiative would extend that high level of voter choice to our elections for state offices. Currently, voters are limited because they can only cast ballots in primary elections for candidates from one party. For example, currently, voters who believe the best candidates for the two House seats in their legislative district are from different parties can vote for only one of those candidates in the primary election. This initiative will fix that problem.
This initiative would still allow candidates to identify their party affiliation on the ballot if they wish, and political parties would continue to be able to promote the candidates and issues of their choice. Also, "straight ticket" voters who want to support only candidates from a particular political party would still be free to do so. But, for the ever-increasing number of voters who want the option to vote for the candidates they believe will best represent them, regardless of party affiliation, in every election, the Open Elections Open Government Initiative would give them that choice.
Statement: Like much of the nation, Tucson Hispanic Chamber members have been discouraged by the divisiveness of our local, state and federal politics. We believe the Open Elections initiative will provide more opportunities for moderate pro-business candidates within any party. It should encourage a more civil tone to Arizona politics and less conflict over ideological differences.
|Paid for by Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce|
The open primary favors no particular party and gives every voter the right to vote in every election. In order to win public office, candidates would be forced to talk to all voters instead of only the most partisan ones. That means more democracy and more accountability, and it's the reason to support Prop 121.
As a small businessman, I know we must increase participation, open up the system, and put control back in the hands of voters. Partisan primaries in Arizona actually limit participation and empower the ideological few. The result is that we have a government run by people with a narrow political agenda, where special interest money rules. And--once in office--these extremists have actually worked to undermine the ability of voters to hold them accountable.
The majority party in the legislature tried to remove the chairwoman of the voter-approved Independent Redistricting Commission because they wanted total control of the elections process. In the wake of repeated scandals, they refused to ban gifts to themselves from lobbyists. Instead, their energy went into an attempt to sweep voter-approved funding from education and children's healthcare to pay for their own priorities.
We need state government to be focused on strengthening the economy and helping to create jobs instead of questioning the citizenship status of the President of the United States. We need them focused on funding good schools that will prepare our children to succeed, not talking about putting guns on school campuses.
In a democracy, every citizen who registers to vote and participates should have an equal voice in choosing elected representatives. Every step away from that simple policy is a step away from democracy. Please support open and accountable government by voting in favor of Prop 121.
With more and more voters in Arizona identifying themselves as Independent, it no longer makes sense for taxpayers to have to pay millions of dollars each election cycle for Democratic and Republican primary elections. In fact, there are more Independent voters in Arizona than Democrats, and it is projected that very soon there will be more Independent voters than Republicans as well.
With the Open Elections Initiative, a candidate can still run as a Republican or Democrat or Libertarian, and the political party designation can still be on the ballot. But all voters will get to choose from all candidates, and then there will be a runoff of the top two vote getters. That makes sense. This way the candidates will all run together and be forced to campaign to all voters - not just a select few voting in a party primary. This will open up the system and foster better communication between those running and those voting.
Political parties can still nominate candidates to run if they wish. So a candidate could be the "official" nominee of a political party - but not at taxpayer expense. There is nothing wrong with political parties or candidates running under the banner of a political party - just not at my expense. There is nothing in the Constitution about political parties, and yet they have a lot of control over the election system.
Arizona was once known for its ability to tackle major issues through cooperative efforts for the common good. How else could you explain scratching out the fifth/sixth largest city in the country in a desert that has an annual rainfall of 7"?
Currently we elect along party lines, and the primary is at the heart of the matter. The current primary system seems to bring out extreme candidates, who often get elected and go to represent their party instead of the people. Once elected, grandstanding takes the place of problem solving, and towing the party line is the order of the day. We need to return to the days when we elected "statesmen" that went to the capital and worked through the issues for the common good.
The Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce feels that the changes the Open Elections initiative proposes will benefit the State of Arizona and allow small businesses greater influence in the process of who is elected. The election will no longer be about party affiliation, but about who are the best overall candidates, and loosen the political stranglehold that the two-party system has on our state/country.
If this proposition passes in November, all voters will be allowed to vote in all elections, regardless of party affiliation. We support this change and believe that it will move us back towards the goal of the founding fathers that Abraham Lincoln so eloquently coined in the Gettysburg Address as a "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
|Paid for by Open Government Committee|
The Open Elections Open Government Act is nothing new to Arizona . It is a commonsense approach that has been used by cities and towns throughout our state for decades! Today, of the 91 cities in Arizona, 90 use this system .
Opponents of this act sometimes point to other states and warn that Open Elections is a new system and untested. In truth, several states have successfully enacted Open Elections and Arizona already has Open Elections in its cities and towns. The level of government that is the closest to the people has always functioned best. Local government (which provides services such as police and fire protection, public utilities, streets, parks, senior services, etc...) has never had room for partisan politics and has never been dominated by partisan primaries or political parties . A May 2012 poll, commissioned by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, found that voters increasingly trust cities and towns most with taxpayer dollars .
Arizonans are increasingly registering as Independents and moving away from the parties. Although public opinion tells us that people value a spirit of cooperation from politicians regardless of party affiliation , elected officials in our legislature are often punished by their own party leadership when they reach across the aisle.
Each of us has served in public office under a non-partisan system. Although we do have party affiliations (as both registered Democrats and Republicans) we were never beholden to the political parties because in non-partisan elections we answered to ALL the voters we represented . We were able to work together because we weren't controlled by a partisan primary system.Paid for by Thomas Milton