What good is an election if one-third can’t vote?

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan

As presidential primaries and caucuses begin around the country, I have proposed making this the last time the state runs the presidential preference election, which costs the state nearly $10 million and bars one-third of voters from participating.

Unlike any other election in Arizona, the PPE (on March 22) precludes so-called “independent” voters from participating. Instead, only registered members of the state’s recognized political parties participating in the election may cast a ballot.

Since day one, our mission has been to do everything we can to improve voter participation.

We’ve asked ourselves if it really makes any sense for Arizona to spend nearly $10 million on an election where the largest block of voters cannot participate. We’re proposing the legislature repeal the PPE and return to the days where the parties ran their own presidential primaries.

By returning control of national convention delegate section to the parties we are empowering them to decide for themselves the best way forward.

Parties might conduct an internet election, a mail ballot open to all Arizonans or adopt an Iowa-style caucus. The PPE is about parties doing party business and they should do what they think is best for their members.

In addition to the elimination of the election itself, the bill (HB2567) requests the legislature to supplement last year’s appropriation with $6 million dollars to cover the remaining state and local costs expenses related to the 2016 PPE.

The registration deadline for the presidential preference election is Feb. 22, with early voting to begin on Feb. 24.

For more registration information go online.

Michele Reagan
Arizona Secretary of State

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