Open primary measure fails to qualify for Arizona ballot [UPDATE]

By Howard Fischer

Capitol Media Services

A move to create an open primary system in Arizona has apparently fallen short.

Karen Osborne

Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said Wednesday her staffers found more than one out of every three signatures submitted for verification to be invalid. And with Maricopa being the largest county — and the place where most of the signatures were collected — that apparently leaves the initiative short of the 259,312 valid names needed to qualify for the November ballot.

But organizers are not giving up.

Joe Yuhas, spokesman for the Open Election/Open Government campaign, said something must be wrong with the way Osborne’s office is checking the names. And he said a lawsuit seeking to change her report is virtually certain within a week.

The initiative would replace the current partisan political system with an open primary, where all candidates for each statewide, legislative, county supervisor and Tucson city council race would run against each other. Only the top two would move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.


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