Arizona's Prop. 121
FreeandEqual have also made presentations in Arizona (including the Goldwater Institute) regarding the 'Top Two' Election Law change proposed in Prop 121 on the ballot here in Arizona. When we went to the Arizona Secretary of State's page to review the PDF of the document listed on the government's site it sent us to an error page while the other ballot measures were available. TYPICAL!!!!!
Conspiracy?... Don't know, and don't care. I hate elections for too many reasons to count, but the first time I actually go to the Department of Government that is responsible for making this information available I am immediately reminded of why I no longer Vote (doesn't stop us from running for office and pointing out such failings... in fact it is just such events that motivate our selective participation in this corrupt and defective process)
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).
In Arizona most of the votes have already been cast via early/mail-in votes and for the Ballot Information to not be available just brings decades of these experiences immediately to the surface for me.
For the first time I have read Proposition 121 (full text below) and I can't find a major flaw. It creates a level field for the fair and equal treatment of individual candidates. The opposition to this legislation comes from ALL of the political parties. Political parties (especially smaller parties) have become dependent on the government to guarantee them a place on the General Election ballot for their candidates. Libertarian Candidates take advantage of this every election. My good friend Marc Victor gained access tot he General Election ballot by getting more than the 130+ write in votes needed in our "Party Primary" (aka government subsidized party election) Just this past August of 2012.
I'm certain that the incumbents would love the idea of difficult access to the Primary Election for individual candidates but this is Sooooooo not the point. Does the initiative provide for equal treatment under the law for an individual seeking public office?... irregardless of their private club membership.
It's below for you to read and decide for yourself. I was asked for my views on the issue by the backers and the lawyers for this initiative before its filling and was able to express myself fully. I refused to get involved but its looks like they addressed my concerns and drafted a document that definitely has scared the Party Welfare recipients.
The constitutional requirements of election law is not the protection of collective (Party) rights, but the protection of individual rights. Equal treatment under the law is required. It is also important to understand that associational rights be protected as well. My first reading of this law left me with the feeling that this was a balanced and CONSTITUTIONAL effort that should be read by any voter.
Which makes the Arizona Secretary of State's 'error' all the more _motivating_ for me to bring attention to business as usual.
Solved??? Not really. I guess Firefox users are just screwed on that particular Ballot Measure. But they did get me to finally weigh in on the issue and provide me something to talk about tomorrow on the show :)
I'm happy with the professional tone and attention the SOS representative provided me on this issue but I don't think we really fixed the problem I started with.
But I knooooow there are a lot of you uber geeks out there that may be able to provide an answer that we can share with the AzSOS's office.
I have avoided the 'offical' election process as much as possible because almost every experience reminds me of all of the frustrations that have accumulated over the past 20 years... and the one time I do look for information that I know is promised voters I get this experience to add to my pile.... I almost made it. With only one week to go I dared to seek information from the government and got a fresh reminder of why I haven't looked for the entire 2012 Election Cycle... Amazing!
Found full text of Prop 121 Here
AN INITIATIVE MEASURE
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
TEXT OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Arizona:
. This initiative amendment shall be known as the "Open Elections/Open Government Act."
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.
B. To provide more choice to all the voters and candidates of Arizona, this proposition:
(1) Abolishes the existing system of taxpayer-funded primary elections to select nominees for political parties.
(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
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 3. Article VII section 10, Constitution of Arizona, is amended by repealing section 10 and replacing it as follows:
(The bolded and Italicized text below will be replaced with the CAPTIALIZED text below that)
§ 10. Direct primary election law
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.
OPEN TOP TWO PRIMARY
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
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
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
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
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
. 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."
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
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.
Submission to voters
The Secretary of State shall submit this
proposition to the voters at the next general election as provided by
Article XXI, Section 1, Constitution of Arizona.
Effective date and implementation by Legislature
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
ANALYSIS BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
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.
Proposition 121 would not apply to the
election of United States President, nor to any office for which
political party affiliation may not appear on the 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
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.
ANALYSIS BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE BUDGET COMMITTEE
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.
"FOR" PROPOSITION 121
Prop 121: Allowing Every Voter the Right to Vote in Every Election
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
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
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.
Join the thousands of Arizonans who have
worked to support this election reform initiative by voting yes on the
Open Elections Initiative.
Paul Johnson, Chairman, Open Government Committee, Phoenix
|Paid for by Open Government Committee|
Vote Yes on Prop 121 - Open Elections Open Government
Greater Phoenix Leadership (
) 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
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
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,
sees this as an opportunity to re-engage the electorate.
members in voting
on Proposition 121.
J. Doug Pruitt, Chairman of the Board, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Phoenix
Thomas R. Franz, President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Phoenix Paid for by Greater Phoenix Leadership
Southern Arizona Leadership Council Supports Open Elections
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.
The Southern Arizona Leadership Council is
an organization of business leaders, but it is not simply a business
organization. It is a community organization.
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.
Open Elections is a win/win for the state.
More citizens will become involved in the election process, and more
candidates will communicate to a broader range of voters.
The Southern Arizona Leadership Council urges you to vote yes on Prop 121.
Michael Hammond, Board Chair, Southern AZ Leadership Council, Tucson
Roger Vogel, Board Vice Chair, Southern AZ Leadership Council, Tucson
Ken Abrahams, Board Treasurer, Southern AZ Leadership Council, Tucson
Lisa Lovallo, Board Secretary, Southern AZ Leadership Council, Tucson
Ronald Shoopman, President, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson Paid for by Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Please join me, Scottsdale City Councilman Bob Littlefield, in voting
YES on Proposition 121, the Open Elections Open Government Initiative.
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.
The current system also makes it much harder
for independent candidates to run for office, again limiting voter
choice. This initiative would level the playing field for independent
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
regardless of party affiliation, in
every election, the Open Elections Open Government Initiative would give them that choice.
Bob Littlefield, Scottsdale City Councilman, Scottsdale
C-03-2012 - THCC POSITION: SUPPORT
Description: Open Elections / Open Government
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.
Lea Marquez Peterson, President & CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson
Tannya Gaxiola, Chairwoman, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson Paid for by Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Jon Hulburd for Prop 121
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
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
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
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
Why Should Taxpayers Pay for Partisan Primaries? Vote Yes on 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
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
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.
That is why I am supporting and voting for the Open Elections Initiative.
Better elections, better government.
Carolyn S. Allen, Former State Senator, Arizona State Senate, Scottsdale
The Business Community Supports Open Elections Open Government
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"?
Well, where has the "common good" gone? It
is lost in the modern day political arena of republicans vs. democrats
that has not only polarized our state but our nation as well.
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
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."
Kevin Johnson, Chairman of the Board, Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce, Buckeye
Deanna K. Kupcik, President & CEO, Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce, Buckeye Paid for by Open Government Committee
Prop. 121 Allows Elected Officials to Work Together Regardless of Parties
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
With that track record, why do we allow other levels of government to be so partisan?
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
the voters we represented
. We were able to work together because we weren't controlled by a partisan primary system.
Please join us and vote
YES ON PROP. 121
Alan Kennedy, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Phoenix
Craig Tribken, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Phoenix
Peggy Bilsten, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Phoenix
Dave Siebert, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Glendale
Doug Lingner, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Phoenix
Tom Milton, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Phoenix
Claude Mattox, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Phoenix
Bryan Jeffries, Former Phoenix City Council-member, Scottsdale Paid for by Thomas Milton