Doug Johnson on Top-Two Primaries

Doug Johnson was recently quoted in an article appearing on The article mentions that former state Sen. Steve Peace (D-San Diego), is pushing a ballot initiative that would change California’s primary election process from partisan to a top two advanced system. Johnson weighs in on the legality of the proposal:

“The top-two was held up by the Supreme Court as legal, and California’s open primary was not,” said Douglas Johnson, a fellow at the Rose Institute at Claremont-McKenna College in Los Angeles.

He referred to a “blanket primary” system used in California in the late 1990s that was ultimately thrown out.

Later, Johnson also adds his views on voter opinions of such an initiative:

Johnson, of the Rose Institute, said voters favor concepts like open primaries and redistricting, but can get confused when such a topic is actually on the ballot.

In reality, he said, redistricting and open primaries have more power together than apart.

“There used to be a fairly numerous bipartisan caucus in the legislature,” he said. With those two reforms in place, he said, that could happen again. “You’d see more debate over issues,” he added.

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