Ariz. initiative to abolish party primaries gets on November ballot

Stephen Elliott Contributor
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The Open Elections-Open Government campaign in Arizona has attained the necessary signatures to put an initiative on the November ballot to limit the influence of the two-party system in the state, according to a press release from the group behind it.

The Open Government Committee launched the campaign in the fall and has since collected more than 280,000 signatures from Arizona voters. 259,000 signatures were required by July 5 to get the initiative on the November ballot.

Paul Johnson, co-chairman of the committee, says he hopes the initiative will eliminate “partisan sniping and gridlock.”

The Open Elections-Open Government Act would eliminate the current primary system in the state. Under the new law, a single primary would be held, open to all voters and all candidates regardless of party affiliation. The two candidates with the most votes would face off in the general election.

Supporters of the initiative hope the proposed law will reduce party extremism. According to Ted Hinderaker, an attorney who is helping to spearhead the effort, “Open Elections-Open Government will force candidates to address issues of importance to all of us, not just those in their respective parties.”

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