top2California voters will have their first experience with the new Top Two primary election process in June. But even those who supported that change, by enacting Prop 14 two years ago, may be surprised by the realities of the new system in practice.

prop 14_final_t2502010 Election ResultsA strong majority of California voters supported Proposition 14 in 2010, but there was more to adopting the new Top Two primary system than was included in the ballot measure. Richard Winger, editor of the San Francisco-based Ballot Access News, explains that many of the details of the new voting procedures were actually adopted by the state legislature, which he feels didn't give a lot of thought to what they were doing.

politicalgridlockAdvocates for Proposition 14 argued that it would help ease partisan legislative gridlock in Sacramento. But Winger says there is little evidence to support that claim. Even in the states with the highest degree of political polarization, researchers have not been able to establish any correlation to their primary election methods.



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