Winger, Richard

Richard Winger is editor of Ballot Access News, the premiere newsletter for up-to-date news about the continuing fight for fair and equitable ballot access laws, and has been accepted as an expert witness on election law in federal courts in 9 states, including California.

The Dark Side of the California Open Primary Proposal

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

In February 2009, the legislature voted to put a measure on the June 2010 ballot that would drastically change California elections for Congress and state office. It is called the "Top-Two Open Primary", and it would provide that all candidates for those offices run on a single primary ballot in June. All voters would use that ballot. Then, only the two candidates who came in first or second would be on the November ballot.  

The California Chamber of Commerce has already endorsed it, and several newspapers have endorsed it as well. But, supporters have not mentioned the flaws in the plan, nor have they mentioned that the system has been used in two other states and it hasn't worked out the way they say it should.