In the News: Transformative Effects of Primary Reform
On August 4, 2015, CNBC covered the release of “A Quiet Revolution: The Early Success of California’s Top Two Nonpartisan Primary,” a report created by UNCG’s Dr. Omar H. Ali and Jason Olson, president of TheIndependentVoice.org. The publication, which came out this month, examined the changes that have occurred in California since the “Top Two” primary system was established in 2010.
“California used to be considered one of the most partisan political environments in the nation. Runaway deficits and gridlocked budgets were standard. A National Journal review of state governments named California among the most dysfunctional state governments in the United States.
“Today, with significant reforms to their primary election system, California politics has been transformed.”
Thanks to the new system, California now has the most competitive elections in the nation. The “Top Two” primary system has also increased voter access, allowing third party candidates and third party voters to participate in the first (and often decisive) round of elections. Finally, California now has a functioning, depolarized legislature that has created reforms in education financing, immigration, and gun control.
California’s success is encouraging movements for primary reform throughout the country.