Top-two might actually REDUCE voter interest

| September 17 2012

Arizona voters should pause and examine the false claim in Proposition 121 that the measure would provide more choices in primary elections and reduce strongly held views on the left and the right.

The misguided measure – the Open Elections/Open Government initiative – would breed electoral chaos, confusing voters and destroying any guide to candidate identity.

The initiative would abolish party primaries and create one primary open to all candidates and all voters. Candidates could run with a party label or no affiliation at all. The top two finishers in the primary would face off in the general election.

The fatal flaw in the scheme is the end of the role of political parties that vet and select candidates that reflect their views. Any candidate could run as a Republican, Democrat, or a representative of a third party.

Voters would be hopelessly confused and even duped. There would be no test of a candidate’s true views or any reliable prediction of political behavior if elected.

The measure also could rob voters of any choice at all. In many state and federal election districts, two candidates of the same party could easily finish first and second in the primary. Voters with other views would be shut out, leading to low voter turnout and widespread disillusionment with the political process.

Voters deserve clear choices in general elections that can only be produced by contested party primaries. Proposition 121 would destroy this process. Voters should defeat the proposition in November and preserve the system that serves them well.

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