ELECTION DAY 2004: VOTE YES ON PROP 62
Today is Election Day. Remember to vote for the proposition endorsed by four of five former CA Governors and 18 major newspapers including the LA Times, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
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Prop 62 Fact Sheet
GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER ENDORSES PROP 62
"Ending politics as usual in Sacramento means implementing meaningful political reform so that the politicians in the Legislature will become more accountable to the people.
"I also am convinced that the people deserve to have an open primary so that they can vote for whomever they'd like, no matter what party a candidate represents.
"Both political parties have asked me not to support Proposition 62, the Open Primary Initiative. I didn't come to Sacramento to make the political parties happy. I have come to Sacramento to initiate reform, so I am today endorsing Proposition 62. An open primary is an important reform that will lead to more mainstream legislators from each party coming to the Capitol to solve California's problems.
"I encourage all my fellow Californians to vote yes on Proposition 62."
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE VOTER CHOICE OPEN PRIMARY
The Current Closed Primary Excludes Many Voters
The Supreme Court decision meant California returned to the closed primary in 2002, in which Democrats can vote only for Democrats and Republicans can vote only for Republicans. This essentially disenfranchises millions of voters. The redistricting plan passed by the California Legislature in 2001 made most legislative and congressional seats “safe” for one major party or the other. In these gerrymandered districts, the overwhelming majority of races are decided in the primary, and the general election winner is a foregone conclusion. That means millions of voters really have no role in determining who represents them in Sacramento or Washington. It is no wonder the turnout in the 2002 closed primary was the lowest in state history.
Give Voters Real Choices and Increase Voter Participation
The Voter Choice Open Primary will permit all voters to participate in the primary election, and to choose the best candidates, regardless of party registration. The Voter Choice Open Primary will increase voters’ choices, encourage voter participation and make it easier for pragmatic problem-solvers to win public office.
Make General Elections More Competitive – and Politicians More Responsive
Under the Voter Choice Open Primary system, the top two vote getters in the primary, regardless of their party registration, will go on to face each other in the general election. This will ensure that the November elections, when millions more voters turn out, will be more competitive. Nearly all of these seats are now essentially won outright in the primary, with no credible general election opponent – and sometimes no opponent at all. The Voter Choice Open Primary will encourage healthier competition in every district and force political candidates to listen to all voters in their districts, not just those registered in their own party who voted for them in the primary.
BACKGROUND ON THE OPEN PRIMARY
In 1996, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 198, ushering in for the first time the “open primary” in this state. This gave voters more choices by allowing them to vote for any candidate, regardless of party registration, in the primary election. While it was -in effect for the 1998 and 2000 elections, the open primary significantly increased voter interest and participation. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court threw out California’s open primary law.
Today, a bi-partisan group of civic, government and business leaders are working to bring a Voter Choice Open Primary back to California. This group studied the Supreme Court’s decision, recruited nationally known constitutional scholars and election law experts and drafted a new open primary initiative to meet the Court’s specific tests. The Voters Choice Open Primary Initiative will appear on the November 2004 ballot.