What is an open primary?
In an open primary, all candidates are listed on a single ballot. Voters are no longer forced to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. Under the proposed law, they can vote for whichever candidate they want regardless of party affiliation.
How do Arkansans benefit from an open primary?
Arkansas voters are fiercely independent. By choosing from all candidates on the ballot, not just candidates from a particular party, voters have more voice and more choice. Open primaries ensure that candidates with the best ideas, not the biggest bank accounts, have a fair shot.
How much will it cost to have this new system of voting?
The Open Primaries amendment ultimately will save taxpayers millions of dollars. In 2020 alone, Arkansas had 4 runoffs. Runoffs are expensive and very few voters participate, giving additional advantage to special interests willing to spend big money.
The instant runoff proposal eliminates the need for additional runoff elections that we estimate have cost Arkansas taxpayers over $5 million since 2006.
How do Arkansans benefit from instant runoffs?
The four most popular candidates in the primaries go to the general election, where voters rank their candidates in order of preference. This way, no standalone runoff is needed. Using instant runoffs in the general election ensures majority winners, so no runoffs are needed. This cuts down on the number of elections and saves taxpayer dollars.
Importantly, this ensures that the candidates with the broadest appeal to voters, not the most support from big donors and lobbyists, are elected.
Arkansans in the active duty military already vote by instant-runoffs.
Who is supporting the Open Primaries amendment?
Leaders across Arkansas from across the political spectrum have been meeting since late 2018 about the problem and the solution. The Open Primaries amendment is a homegrown, locally-led effort. You can learn more about the committee members for Open Primaries AR here.
Most importantly, we are building broad public support. Tens of thousands of Arkansas voters have signed this petition and want to have the Open Primaries amendment on the ballot in November.