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AZ Week Notebook entry


Tired of the two-party system? Don't want to see your property taxes continue to climb? Want more of a say in who populate the benches of state courtrooms? How about overriding legislative cuts to education?

If any or all of the above appeal to you, you've come to the right place, that being the November general election in Arizona.

The ballot may well have something for nearly everyone, and that's not even counting the hundreds of folks who will seek elective office from county supervisors and sheriffs to U.S. Senate and president.

Ten or more propositions could make the ballot in the fall. Seven constitutional amendments already will be offered for certain, placed there by the Legislature in action over the last two sessions.

If it gets on the ballot, the measure with the potential to cause the most impact is the "Open Government Act," being pushed by those who want to end what they call the two-party stranglehold on elective office.

Petitions will be filed on Tuesday, according to group members. If it qualifies, the measure would replace the party primary election system in Arizona with an open primary, one in which all candidates run on one ballot, and the top two vote getters move on to face one another in the general election.

California and the state of Washington have implemented the system, both through voter initiative.

Legislative-proposed constitutional amendments headed for the ballot would:

-- Modify how Superior Court and Court of Appeals selections are made.

-- Protect crime victims from having to pay for causing death or injury.

-- Give property tax breaks to businesses for newly acquired equipment.

-- Give the state sovereignty over its natural resources.

-- Limit annual distributions from the state permanent fund.

-- Authorize the Legislature to set up a process for exchanging trust land to protect military installations.

-- Limit annual growth in limited property value of locally assessed properties.

On Friday's Arizona Week, we plan to explore the measures proposed for the ballot and how voters should prepare.

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About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.

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2012 election arizona open primary ballot propositions