It looks like Arizona voters will get a shot at radically changing the way politics is played around here. A group that wants to abolish traditional partisan primary elections says they’ve got the support to put the question on the ballot this fall. Leaders of the Open Elections Open Government filed what they claim is a record number of petition signatures on Thursday afternoon with Arizona Secretary of State’s office. The organization needed a minimum of 259,213 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the November ballot. But a spokesman for the group says they’ve collected more than 356,000, a number they believe sets a new benchmark in Arizona.
Officials with the Secretary of State’s office were unable to immediately verify the number of signatures was a record. Today was the deadline to file. State election officials still have to verify the signatures before officials put it on the ballot, but officials with the campaign are confident there won’t be any problems.
If passed, the measure would clear the way for so-called “jungle primaries,” where the top two vote getters, regardless of party, move on to the general election. Currently, the state holds partisan primaries where candidates with the most votes in each partisan primary compete against each other in the November general election.