Election Reform Movement Launches Two Initiatives - Open Primaries Arizona
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Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 22, 2016 at 5:27 PM

Election Reform Movement Launches Two Initiatives

This article was written by Barbara Villa for Arizona News Radio.

If a new movement gets its way, you’ll be voting on campaign transparency and open primaries as soon as this November. The “Open and Honest” Coalition filed with the Secretary of State’s office Thursday for two ballot initiatives. One requires disclosure of campaign donors who chip in $10,000 

or more. The second allows people to vote in primaries as Independents. Under current law, an Independent can vote in primaries only after they’ve re-registered with a party. Then after the election, they can once again register as Independent.

Coalition members marvel how the causes of fighting campaign dark money and equal access to primaries have united people across the political spectrum. Ex Governor Fife Symington aide Chuck Coughlin helped Symington defeat Democratic challenger Terry Goddard in 1990 and 1994. But now, Coughlin’s once political foe is now his ally. “It’s our two party system injected with the steroids of dark money that is broken and is in danger of destroying our American experiment,” declares Coughlin.  Goddard echos that, saying, “I believe every Arizonan has the right to know who’s behind every major political contribution”. But the ex Phoenix Mayor and ex Attorney General adds, “ it’s not the case and not the law in the State of Arizona today”. 

Coughlin says each measure must get at least 226-thousand valid signatures by July third, to get on the November ballot. A “yes” vote amends the Arizona Constitution.