Copying California’s Election System in Arizona Is an Insane Idea

Copying California’s Election System in Arizona Is an Insane Idea

This fall, the people of Arizona will have a number of critical decisions to make about the future of our state. But one initiative may be the most important issue facing voters in November.

Earlier this month, the special interests behind a plan to bring California-style jungle primaries and ranked choice voting to Arizona submitted signatures with the Arizona Secretary of State to qualify the so-called “Make Elections Fair Act” for the November General Election. If approved, this proposed constitutional amendment would not only make our elections unfair, but it would radically change how Arizonans select and approve candidates for public office in several alarming ways.

The Measure Grants One Politician Too Much Power

It’s never a good idea to give one politician total power over anything—especially an election—but that’s exactly what the Make Elections (Un)Fair Act would do. The measure grants one politician, in this case the Secretary of State, the power to determine how many candidates will appear on the general election ballot for each race. On top of that, the Secretary of State could even decide how many candidates advance in his or her own race.

Think about what this could mean.

The Secretary of State could go up and down the ballot selecting just two candidates for the general election in one race while selecting five in another race despite the fact that only one candidate can win. But it gets even more confusing. When two seats are open in the general election, meaning that two candidates would be elected, the Secretary of State can select four candidates for one race, but seven in another! This means that the Secretary of State could literally pick and choose all the way up and down the ballot the number of candidates in each race that would most benefit his own political party.

But that’s not even the worst part!

In his own race, if the Secretary of State determined that it would be better for him to go head-to-head with just one opponent, this measure allows him to unilaterally declare that just two candidates will be on the ballot. But if he felt like it would be better to “crowd the field,” he could put five candidates on the ballot to have his opponents fight with each other while he sneaks his way to victory. The Democrats like to talk about “protecting Democracy” (even though we’re a constitutional republic). Does that sound like Democracy to you?

Jungle Primaries Will Result in Races Where Only One Political Party Is on the General Election Ballot

It’s bad enough that some Arizona voters have been disenfranchised in recent elections, but jungle primaries would take this to a whole new level. If this system becomes our reality, we will most certainly see elections in which candidates from only one political party will appear on the general election ballot. That would mean that under this scheme, we could have a November election where your choice for governor only includes Democrats or vice-versa.

This possibility should concern every Republican, Democrat, and anyone in between.

A system like this gives voters no real choice in the general election. It’s completely unfair and is another radical way to leave even more voters in our state disenfranchised.

The Measure Would Force Voters to Navigate Two Completely Different Voting Systems on the Same Ballot

Are you confused enough already? Well, we’re not done. The language of the Make Elections (Un)Fair Act would create a confusing new system for voting that requires the use of a complicated ranking system for some candidates but not for others.

That’s right. Under this flawed system, we would end up with a patchwork ballot where you’re choosing between two candidates in one race and then ranking a set of candidates in your order of preference in the very next contest. This insane voting process would increase tabulation errors, require longer ballots, create longer lines at the polls, and delay election results for months. Clearly, this is not the road Arizona should be heading down.

The reality is that jungle primaries and ranked choice voting are radical election schemes imported from California by out-of-state special interests with a thirst for more influence and control over our state’s political process. Both systems are confusing, unfair, and will disenfranchise voters. And the only ones who stand to gain are the ones with the money to manipulate the system.

As you’re preparing to vote this November, just remember that copying our election system after California is an insane idea. And vote NO on the Make Elections (Un)Fair Act.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.

Arizona’s ‘Make Elections (Un)Fair Act’ Submits Signatures for November Ballot

Arizona’s ‘Make Elections (Un)Fair Act’ Submits Signatures for November Ballot

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Last week, the special interests behind a plan to bring California-style jungle primaries and ranked choice voting to Arizona submitted signatures with the Arizona Secretary of State to qualify their initiative for the November General Election. If approved by voters, this proposed constitutional amendment would radically change how Arizonans select and approve candidates for public office.

“This fall, Arizonans will have a number of critical decisions to make about the future of our state, but this initiative may be the most important one facing voters,” said Scot Mussi, President of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

If passed by voters, The Make Elections (Un)Fair Act, which copies the California voting system, would do the following for future Arizona elections:

  • Allows one politician, the Arizona Secretary of State, to decide how many candidates qualify for the general election ballot for every single contest, including his or her own race.
  • Would result in some races where candidates from only one political party appear on the general election ballot.
  • Would force voters to navigate two completely different voting systems on the same ballot, with some races requiring voters to rank candidates and others that do not.
  • Will increase tabulation errors, create longer lines at the polls, and significantly delay election results.

“This initiative is nothing more than a California-style election scheme, which would give unilateral power to one politician to determine the candidates on our ballots. It is not fair, and it is not honest,” said Mussi. “If it is determined that this measure did submit enough valid signatures, we will ensure voters know exactly how undemocratic and unfair these policies will be for future generations.”

Read more about this radical and confusing initiative here.

Legislature Fails to Fix Troubled Arizona Commerce Authority

Legislature Fails to Fix Troubled Arizona Commerce Authority

After months of debate surrounding the controversial reauthorization of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the tension finally broke on the last day of session when HB2210 was raced through the House and Senate and signed by Governor Hobbs.

Everyone at the capitol was aware of the problems surrounding the Commerce Authority. Our elected officials were briefed on the innumerable deficiencies, questionable activities, and likely illegal behavior of the agency. Yet when it came time to act, the legislature capitulated to the special interest benefactors of the agency, passing a reauthorization with no real reforms. The included changes were so inconsequential that an agency dealing with months of negative press about illegal CEO junkets had nothing but accolades for legislative leadership.

What did the final ACA package look like? In exchange for a five-year reauthorization (one of the longest reauthorizations ever granted to the ACA), the agency agreed to add to their board an attorney practiced in litigating Gift Clause violations, a requirement that their board meetings be videoed and hosted online for public review, a cap of “only” 100 state-paid full-time employees, and some reporting requirements for permitting and approval times by local cities and towns.

So, what started out as a hopeful and robust opportunity for reform quickly disintegrated into window dressing changes. No meaningful legislative oversight of the agency was included. It continues to exempt the ACA from having to use the Attorney General for legal counsel, instead allowing it to be one of the only departments to expend funds hiring silk stocking law firms on the taxpayer’s dime. And it still enjoys its exclusion from the prohibition on competing with private businesses, ironically, considering it claims to exist to promote the thriving of private businesses.

However, the most tragic concession was the jettisoning of the statutory gift clause test, which would have ensured the ACA conducts a constitutional analysis of every grant award and subsidy administered by the agency. The proposed gift clause language was taken straight from the landmark Arizona Supreme Court Schires decision, and given the agency’s track record of violating the Gift Clause, this was the most needed and defensible reform of them all.

Opponents to ACA reform absurdly argued that the “Schires Test” does not apply to the agency, so without its inclusion, it is quite obvious the ACA intends to continue handing out unconstitutional gifts to private business.

Litigation is likely to ensue, but the ACA doesn’t care. It has an unlimited taxpayer-backed war chest to defend these subsidy schemes. It knows it costs a fortune for private actors to sue, and if one of its deals is found to be unconstitutional, it will just modify the next deal, declare it “different,” then dare someone to sue it again. It’s a great scheme if you can figure out how to be part of the 1% that benefits from this racket.

The bottom line is that the absence of substantive reforms to the Arizona Commerce Authority was a missed opportunity for taxpayers. Following a dismal auditor general report and scrutiny by the Attorney General for constitutional violations, there was enough momentum to address many of the problems plaguing the ACA. Sadly, that momentum was squandered, and another government agency was allowed to continue with no oversight or accountability.

Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network

Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!

Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.