CA Greens join other independent parties in lawsuit against Top Two voting system
November 24, 2011 in State Party News
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Voters representing the Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom parties sued Tuesday over the state’s new open primary system, saying change will deny voters the right to support third-party candidates in general elections.
Under Proposition 14, approved by voters in 2010, all statewide and presidential candidates will run in a single primary that is open to all registered voters regardless of their political party. The top two vote-getters will then move on to the general election.
Prop. 14 proponents believe the change will result in more moderate, less partisan representatives and ultimately a more effective government. But third-party supporters say the new system will disenfranchise voters because it will result in only Democrats and Republicans competing in general election contests.
“This is really a lawsuit about keeping the field of political debate open,” said attorney Michael Siegel. “Proposition 14 narrows the political debate by saying only two candidates can participate in general elections, and we think that’s unconstitutional because many Supreme Court cases have said you can’t have a barrier to small parties competing in the general election.”