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Proposition 14 passes, bringing open primaries to California

June 8, 2010 |  9:41 pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, shown April 19, looks at Calif. Proposition 14 initiative held by Carl Guardino, left, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Credit: Associated Press
For the third time in 12 years, Californians opted to change the way they select candidates for local, state and federal office with the passage of Proposition 14.

Under the new measure, only the top two vote-getters in a primary election -- regardless of their political party -- will advance to a November runoff. Currently, the top vote-getter in each party advances to the fall campaign.

The changes will not affect presidential contests.

Supporters of the law say it will lead to the election of more moderate legislators. Opponents say the change will make campaigns more expensive and decimate smaller political parties.

California voters passed a similar measure in 1996, only to have it overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Voters reaffirmed their support for closed, partisan primaries in 2004.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was among the leading supporters, and fundraisers, for Proposition 14.

-- Anthony York in Los Angeles

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Photo: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, speak in favor of Proposition 14 in April. Credit: Associated Press

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