Local News

May 10, 2010 6:47 PM by Danielle Lerner

A closer look at Proposition 14

The June 8 primary election is still one month away, but one item on the ballot is already stirring up controversy.

California voters will either approve or reject Proposition 14 next month. If approved, the primary election process for statewide, congressional, and legislative races would change.

All candidates would be listed on the same ballot and voters could choose whoever they want.

The two candidates with the most votes would then advance to the general election, regardless of their party affiliation.

There are arguments on both sides and so we're taking a closer look at the Prop 14 debate.

Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado defended Proposition 14 during a recent appearance on the Colbert Report.

He says he put Prop 14 on the ballot to get rid of partisan politics.

"Prop 14 will allow people to go to the ballot and vote for everybody on one ballot and they get to choose the best person, regardless of party, people are going to go there and do what's right for the people," Maldonado said.

Under the new system candidates would not even have to list their party preferences on the ballot.

Stew Jenkins, a member of the Democratic party of San Luis Obispo County fears that it will take away the diversity of California elections.

"You're going to have two people who are very similar to each other, instead of the best of the best," said Jenkins.

Some supporters say Prop 14 would put more moderate politicians in office and reduce partisanship. It could also save money since it would eliminate party-specific ballots.

However, those who disagree say Prop 14 would actually increase election and campaign costs, while pushing out minor party candidates.

"Absent the occasional billionaire, there won't be any independents making it onto the ballot," said Jenkins.

Two sides, one issue. As Californians prepare to head to the polls.

Prop 14 does not set a limit on campaign advertising. If approved the new system would take effect in the 2012 elections.

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