Earlier this week state election officials said a check of a random sample of the signatures submitted showed the proposal to scrap partisan primaries fell about 10,000 short of the nearly 260,000 necessary. A big reason for this was the conclusion by Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne that a large number in her sample were simply not registered to vote. Others signatures were struck because the information did not match voter rolls. But campaign spokesman Joe Yuhas said a review by his own staff tells a different story.
The initiative would scrap the current system where each party chooses its own nominees and they run against each other in November. Instead, all candidates would run in a single primary, with the top two facing off in the general election. Proponents say that would force candidates to appeal to all segments of the population rather than simply courting what may be the extremes of their own party -- and then coasting to victory in November because of a lopsided voter registration edge in a legislative or congressional district.