Arizona Top-Two Open Primary Initiative Has Enough Valid Signatures to be on Ballot

On August 31, a lower state court in Arizona determined that the top-two open primary initiative has enough valid signatures to be on the ballot. See this story.


  1. Micah Black · · Reply

    I hope this judge made the right choice and the signatures were, in fact, valid. Even terrible proposals should be on the ballot if they qualify. Now, we must hope the majority of voters will recognize this as the sham that it is and vote against it. The Arizona Republic is firmly in favor of this and likely Paul Johnson’s most powerful booster. Though, The Republic might not have the allure some city newspapers do. I hear they are struggling mightily. Fight Top Two at every opportunity.

  2. Larry Allred · · Reply

    Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of the parties. Time to write and sing the ballad of top-two tyranny.

  3. Tom Yager · · Reply

    Now it’s on to almost purely one-sided coverage by the media in favor of Top Two, and another state will reduce general election choices to two candidates on behalf of moderates who were too lazy to bother voting in the primary.

  4. We just had a primary election here in Arizona on Tuesday. When I was checking the unofficial results from my race earlier in the day the turnout was 23.46%. I don’t like the thought that the top two open primary scheme would have narrowed the choices from four Democrats, one Republican, and one Green to four Democrats in this heavily Democratic district, but that is what would have happened. The two Democrats that advanced to the general election need to have opponents with political positions different than their own. That’s what their Republican and Green opponents give them. After all, elections are suppose to be about choices.

  5. Jim Riley · · Reply

    #4 Of the 30 legislative districts in Arizona, only 8 had at least one Republican and Democratic senate candidate; and at least two Republican and Democratic house candidates. In the other 22 districts, the winners were chosen in full or in part in primary elections in which it was impossible for a large share of the electorate to participate.

    In LD.24 3 Democrats and 1 Republican would have qualified for the general election for the House seats, and 1 Democrat and 1 Republican for the senate seat.

    The major parties won’t want to make it any harder for their candidates to qualify. So it is likely that qualification standards would be similar to what they are now. Currently, it is 1% of party registration, but the initiative requires it to be based on votes cast for the office at the previous election. It is simple enough to keep it at 1%. But then this needs to be reduced further to reflect that it is based on total vote, and not partisan vote. So let’s say 1/5 so the smaller major party can still qualify its candidate, even where it only has 20% of the registration. Only 7 legislative districts had more than 4 on-ballot House candidates, so Arizona does not have an surfeit of candidates.

    That would make it around 100 for a typical legislative district. More than you would currently need, but you would be able to solicit signatures from the 2/3 of the electorate who couldn’t sign now because they weren’t a registered Green or independent. It is not too helpful if you have to approach a voter asking them to sign your petition, and then tell them to stop wasting your time if they are registered with another party. After all, only 9% of write-in votes in your district were cast in the Green primary. You may have attracted large numbers of cross-over votes that will never be counted (most independent voters who vote in the primary, would select their primary based on the senate or house race, and not the legislative races).

  6. This is as expected. Whichever side lost was sure to take the verdict to the Supreme Court. Perhaps the “felon” evidence will be heard there; it appears that evidence was not heard in Superior Court.

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