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Arizona, Elections, Politics

Proposition 121 corrupts Arizona’s election system

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Posted: October 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm   /   by

Well before Election Day, voters throughout Arizona need to get the message that Proposition 121 is a hoax, a major fraud designed to convince citizens that the measure will open the political system to more candidates and voters.

Mislabeled the Open Elections Open Government initiative, the measure does the exact opposite. It is the Closed Elections Closed Government initiative. Arizona voters must not be fooled.

A close look at Proposition 121 reveals a cynical scheme that will eliminate voter choice, foster political corruption and advance extremists by abolishing party primaries and eventually destroy political parties themselves.

Proponents of 121 want to hijack the political system so they can elect candidates of their own choosing and take candidate selection out of the hands of the voters. Unable to compete in the primary system as it exists, they propose an end to the system that has served voters well for decades.

The proposition would abolish party primaries and establish one primary open to all candidates and all voters. The top two finishers in the primary would face off in the general election. Party identification by candidates would be optional.

That is the real flaw in Proposition 121. Voters would have no way to verify the accuracy of  a candidate’s party identification. With no party primary system to verify candidate identification, the system would be open to sham candidates hand picked and financed by special interests out to fool the voters.

What is worse, millions of voters could be left with no choice in a general election if the top two primary finishers represented the same party. With nowhere to turn on Election Day, voter turnout would plummet as many citizens simply gave up and stayed home.

This already has happened in California where there will be 28 elections this fall with no voter choice due to top two primaries.  Contrary to top two primary advocates, voter turnout was not up in the state’s June primaries and the primaries did not produce more so-called moderate candidates.

Under Proposition 121, candidates with extreme views easily could manipulate their way into a general election. Voters need only recall how the top two system in Louisiana once produced a run off between a candidate with a history of KKK leadership and a corrupt politician who was convicted and went to jail.

Proposition 121 would give political insiders and unscrupulous consultants the vehicle they want to corrupt the candidate selection process. Special interests would pour millions into primaries to elect sham candidates.

The voters need clear choices. They need confidence in the honesty of candidate identity. They need protection against corruption in the election process.

The party primary system provides these safeguards. Proposition 121 destroys them. The measure should be soundly defeated on Election Day.