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Open Primaries and Top Two Elections: Proposition 14 on California’s June 2010 Ballot


Publication Date: May 2010

Publisher: Center for Governmental Studies (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Author(s): Molly Milligan

Research Area: Political Reform

Type: Report

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

Proposition 14 would replace California’s election system with one that would feature an open primary followed by a general election run off between the top two finishers in the primary. In the open primary, voters could vote for any candidate running for a particular office regardless of the party affiliation, if any, of the voter or of the candidates. CGS’ report, Open Primaries and Top Two Elections: Proposition 14 on California’s June 2010 Ballot, draws three conclusions. First, more than one-third of all California legislative and congressional general election races could be between two members of the same party. Second, nearly all of these general election contests would involve two Democrats. Third, some of these races that would involve two members of the same party could be close enough that voters from the other party or DTS voters could swing an election to a more moderate candidate.