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Arizona, Elections, Politics

Prop 121 — pushing up daisies?

Posted: October 26, 2012 at 10:30 am   /   by

Prop 121 would create a top two primary system that would eliminate partisan primaries in favor of so-called “open elections.”  Numerous arguments have been made by citizens of nearly every political viewpoint as to why the change advocated for by the Open Government Committee is a bad idea.

The biggest reason Prop 121 has struggled to obtain popular support is that it would leave many voters with no candidate representing their opinions in the general election.  A lot of districts at the legislative or Congressional level are drawn in such a way that voters would end up choosing between two candidates with the same ideas in the general election.  The open election format would also likely draw numerous sham candidates for each position as political parties attempt to use the new system to seek an edge.  Voters would be left attempting to sort through heaps of campaign materials to determine the most strategic way to cast their ballot instead of simply choosing the candidate they like the most.

Both major parties are opposed to the initiative, as are third parties who will have little chance of being able to field general election candidates should the proposed system come into effect.  Many Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, and members of other parties believe that eliminating partisan primaries strips the organizations of their right to select their own candidate to represent them on the ballot.  Some even go so far as to say that Prop 121 potentially violates the First Amendment.

Only 37% of Arizona voters said they would vote in favor of open primaries in the latest Rasmussen survey.

Recently, the Yes on 121 signs started sporting odd photos of daisies attached to their signs across the Valley.

We tried to figure out what message the Yes side was pushing, and we found this video:



But perhaps the additions to the Prop 121 signs are something more prophetic — is the campaign for open elections “pushing up daisies”?  Or are they trying to warn us?

Hannah Thoreson

Hannah Thoreson is a science and technology writer based in northern Virginia. She earned a physics degree from Arizona State University in 2012 and has been causing trouble ever since.

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Prop 121 -- pushing up daisies?