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Open Primary Proposition Next Step to Reform California Government

Our economy is in crisis. Unemployment in California is over 12%.

The Legislature repeatedly fails to pass the state budget on time and is unwilling or unable to address the state’s gaping $20+ billion fiscal deficit.

Clearly our state government is broken.

But is seems most politicians would rather stick to their rigid partisan positions and appease the special interests than work together to solve California’s problems.

In order to make our state government work, we need to change the way we elect our legislators.

The politicians certainly won't do it, but Proposition 14 will.

Proposition 14 will open up primary elections by allowing voters to choose the candidate they think is best, regardless of party affiliation. You will be able to vote for any candidate you wish for state and Congressional offices, regardless of your political party preference. Such a system will ensure that no candidate can get elected simply by pandering to his or her party’s narrow “base.”

Proposition 14 will give independent voters an equal voice in primary elections. The current system allows the two parties to choose whether to even allow “decline-to-state” voters to vote in the primary, essentially disenfranchising 40% - nearly half - of California voters. Under Prop 14, ALL registered voters can cast their ballot for whatever candidate they choose.

Because candidates will no longer be able to simply appeal to a narrow slice of their own party, Proposition 14 will help elect more practical representatives who are more open to compromise. “The best part of the open primary is that it would lessen the influence of the major parties, which are now under control of the special interests.” (Fresno Bee, 2/22/09).

An open primary system will give every Californian equal access to the same ballot and will put us on track toward restoring the faith the people of California once had in their elected representatives.

AARP supports Prop 14 because we believe that to change the partisan, gridlocked culture in the Capitol, we have to change the conversation in Sacramento. Opening our primaries to all voters will encourage elected representatives to be accountable to their constituents. Californians will then have an opportunity to hear real debate about the issues that matter to them – not just a competition for which candidate can best appeal to his or her party’s narrow “base.” Californians want to elect people who are beholden to their constituents, not to a small sector of hyper-partisan political bosses.

Non-partisan measures like Proposition 14 will push our elected officials to begin working together for the common good.

Join AARP, the California Conference of Carpenters, the California Chamber of Commerce and many Democrats and Republicans who want to fix our broken government.

On June 9th, send a message that says “enough is enough.” Vote Yes on 14 – for elected representatives who are less partisan and more practical.

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