Arizona Superior Court Hears Oral Arguments on Whether Top-Two Open Primary Initiative Should be on Ballot

Here is a description of the court hearing held August 3 in Phoenix, over whether the initiative for a top-two open primary should be on the ballot. Opponents argued that it violates the single-subject rule. The only argument on the single-subject rule that seemed to give the judge pause is the point that the initiative unnecessarily abolishes elections for party office. The very last paragraph of the article mentions this.

The other states with top-two open primaries, Washington, California, and Louisiana, all continue to hold elections for party office.


  1. Larry Allred · · Reply

    Apparently as the article has readers conclude Precinct Committeeman/woman are both public as well as partisan officials in AZ. That’s a window on the state sponsorship of the two major parties. That fact I think ehances the argument that more than one subject is on the table with this proposed constitutional amendment initiative, though the initiative’s thrust is anti-partisan.

  2. In Arizona or at least Maricopa County, the Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians all elect their Precinct Committeemen/women in their primary elections. Americans Elect and the Greens are considered new parties, so they don’t elect committeemen/women in their primary elections. In fact, the Green Party of Maricopa County’s committee is its officers and what ever Green voters show up at the meeting.

    Gerard Davis
    Green Party write-in candidate for State Representative – District 24

  3. I suspect that your last sentence should be “Washington, California and Louisiana”.

  4. Jim Riley · · Reply

    It was truly ludicrous to argue that an election system that treats all candidates the same without regard to their party affiliation would not let all candidates use the registration that they declare on their voter registration.

    California SOS Debra Bowen’s misinterpretation of SB 6, which she convinced the loyal party ducklings in the legislature to incorporate in new statute, flies directly in the face of the California constitution.

    To classify parties parties on the basis of the number of voters who have registered with them IS having regard for the party. California MAY NOT make distinctions on the basis of party size with respect to elections for voter-nominated offices.

  5. Jim Riley · · Reply

    Washington is stuck with having government elections for party officials because of their silly constitution provisions that attempt to dictate in detail how vacancies are filled, while simply telling the legislature to set the rules for how elections occur in the first place. Washington should simply change its constitution that the legislature should provide for the filling of vacancies. If Washington did not have the silly-vacancy provision there would be no reason to regulate party elections. Presidential candidates could qualify in the same manner as gubernatorial candidates.

    Since Washington is required under the US Constitution to hold special elections for Congress, there is really no reason that Washington could not hold special elections for legislatures. Alternatively, they could select a small portion of the electorate by lot to make a temporary appointment.

    The California legislature should interpret “provide” for election of party officials to simply set a requirement that political party governance be ultimately in control of the voters registered with the party and leave it to the political parties to work out the details.

    If that is determined to violate the California constitution, the constitution should be amended.

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