skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 12, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Bipartisan AZ group renews call for open primaries

play audio
Play

Tuesday, January 30, 2024   

A bipartisan Arizona group that is pushing for open primaries in the state says it isn't surprised by the relatively low voter turnout in recent primary elections.

As in Iowa, Arizona requires voters to be affiliated with a major political party to be able to participate in primary elections.

Paul Johnson, former Phoenix mayor and member of the Make Elections Fair AZ executive committee, said from his experience, those who show up in what he calls "low-turnout primaries" tend to be the "most extremist" voters. He added that leads to more extreme candidates winning, but it also paints a skewed picture of how the public views issues.

"There is a great level of surprise by a great many people who just can't believe that we are continuing on with an outcome where the majority of us, somewhere near the General Election, are going to have to pick between what most people see as being the lesser of the best options," Johnson said.

Johnson added he considers the current system to be discriminatory toward Independent and unaffiliated voters. He argued open primaries would ease polarization.

Arizona allows unaffiliated voters to participate in any party primary they choose, but does not allow those who are registered with one party to vote in another's. Supporters of closed primaries argue they are essential for preserving party ideals and influence.

Sarah Smallhouse, chair of Make Elections Fair AZ, said Arizona's Independent and unaffiliated voters have to take extra steps to be able to participate in primary elections, and many times they don't -- which can lead to a false sense of representation.

"In the sliver of primary voters that are making all of these important decisions, you don't actually have representation from the largest group of registered voters in the state?" Smallhouse asks. "That is a problem."

The group wants to note that both the Republican and Democratic parties are necessary, but is convinced that open primaries would "draw the best out of both of them," as it could facilitate a constructive and holistic political landscape.

The initiative would not stop parties from endorsing a candidate, but they would no longer be guaranteed a place on the General Election ballot.The group is still collecting the signatures, needed by this June, to get the measure onto the November 2024 ballot.

Disclosure: Make Elections Fair AZ contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Kentucky certified lactation consultant and birth doula Bonnie Logsdon has been vocal in her support for House Bill 10. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

In the final days of the legislative session, Kentucky Senate lawmakers could consider the "Momnibus" bill, which would increase access to critical …


play sound

Until recently, many Americans of Middle Eastern or North African descent were categorized as "white" in government surveys, making it challenging to …

play sound

Conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion are on the rise as lawmakers propose bills to restrict or ban DEI in state-funded institutions…


Enbridge owns and operates Line 5, a controversial oil pipeline that crosses tribal lands and runs under a portion of the Great Lakes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Next week, Native American leaders from the Midwest will go before a United Nations panel with their concerns over a controversial oil pipeline they …

Social Issues

play sound

O.J. Simpson's death has the nation looking back on the infamous murder trial that resulted in his acquittal. Experts say one of the lasting impacts …

IRS Direct File is a new tax tool to file federal income tax returns for free, directly with the IRS. It comes with access to live customer service representatives who can answer tax questions. (stevepb/Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

Florida residents can now file their simple income-tax forms for free and save time through the Internal Revenue Service's Direct File pilot program…

Social Issues

play sound

New York restaurant workers need to know their rights to better navigate their workplaces. A new report finds high rates of what it calls …

Environment

play sound

People working for environmental justice are rallying today at the downtown Pittsburgh headquarters of U.S. Steel, voicing their concerns to company …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021