A proposed constitutional amendment to create a new primary-election system violates the state’s single-subject rule and should not go before voters in November, a new lawsuit charges. The challenge to the Open Elections/Open Government effort comes from two Republicans, a Libertarian and the League of Women Voters of Arizona. In a filing in Maricopa County Superior Court, they allege the “top two” primary proposes multiple changes to the state’s election process, running afoul of the requirement that ballot measures propose only one substantive change. The filing marks the second time this month a high-stakes ballot issue faces a legal battle. Backers of a permanent 1-cent-per-dollar increase in the state sales tax to pay for education and construction projects are fighting to reinstate their measure on the Nov. 6 ballot. They head to court today. Secretary of State Ken Bennett disqualified the measure earlier this month, saying supporters did not follow proper procedures for filing and circulating their proposal.
The two citizen-driven measures have drawn fierce opposition from many established politicians. The measures seek to make potentially dramatic changes in the state’s election and budgeting processes. … The top-two primary would scrap Arizona’s existing partisan-primary system and require all candidates for any given office to run in a single primary. They could run with conventional party labels, one of their own choosing or none at all. The top two finishers would advance to a general-election runoff.