LITTLE ROCK – The following statement can be attributed to Stephanie Matthews, campaign manager of Open Primaries Arkansas, on the certification of the proposal as Issue 5 to give voters more choices at the ballot box:
We’re happy to see that the Open Primaries Arkansas amendment will appear on the November ballot as Issue 5, giving voters the opportunity to ensure that the candidates who receive the most votes in a general election will win. This simple, commonsense reform is supported by a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and independents who want to ensure Arkansas voters have more freedom to choose the candidates that best represent them—not just those provided by party bosses through the current primary process. Arkansans deserve politicians who will work together to fix our state’s problems, instead of candidates who cater to the extreme wings of the major political parties.
The Open Primaries Arkansas proposal would create an open primary election system where primary voters could choose candidates for United States Congress, Arkansas General Assembly, and state constitutional officers from all parties. Voters could vote for any candidate regardless of whether they identify as Republican, Democrat or have no party affiliation. The top four vote-getters will move on to the general election, where voters will select their top choice and then have the option to rank the other candidates in order of preference, ensuring the candidate with majority support is the definitive winner.
A recent poll from the League of Women Voters of Arkansas found that 89% of Arkansas voters want an opportunity to vote on this proposed reform to open primaries and give voters more choices at the ballot box.
The proposed amendment would take effect in 2022. To learn more about Open Primaries Arkansas and how to get involved, visit www.openprimariesarkansas.org.