Independent Voter Project

Are Nonpartisan Primaries Having a Positive Effect on California Politics?

California’s work to modernize its elections has been gaining some national attention lately. And last month, elected officials, election experts, and interested Californians gathered in Sacramento to look back at how the state’s nonpartisan, or “Top Two” primary election reform is doing.

We asked people there about the effects of Top Two, which allows voters to vote for any candidate on the primary ballot regardless of party, with the top two vote-getters appearing in the general election.

While it’s still early to fully measure the impact of Top Two, it’s clear from remarks that the reform is leaving a mark on elections and political campaigns.

Democratic State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) addressed the crowd regarding his win over a more liberal Democrat, a recent example of the influence this reform is having on California elections.

Glazer shared his belief that “Top Two” enables lawmakers to represent their constituents and act with conviction. To the Senator, that means the reform makes it more possible for “a Democrat to say ‘No’ and a Republican to say ‘Yes.’”

Glazer also said the new primary rules enable and encourage lawmakers to take six actions that he believes will result in a stronger democracy and better policy.

Read the full article on IVN

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