Jungle primary challenged for inequity
The Arizona Latino Republican Association (ALRA) has filed an amicus brief in opposition to the “Top Two” or “Jungle Primary” initiative. ALRA, in a statement released on Friday, says that it filed the brief “because the initiative proposes far reaching changes to the way elections are conducted in Arizona. These changes would have devastating effects on minority voter participation and violate the provisions of the Voter Rights Act.”
The conservative group argues that it has a unique perspective on the issue presented in the appeal; namely the rights of Hispanic voters.
ALRA says that the Jungle Primary system would run afoul of the Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting power of minority voting blocs. “This is particularly true of minority-majority districts; where in a non-partisan primary erases in an instant the carefully constructed minority voting clout by allowing dilution by minority voters with opposing viewpoints. Where at-large races exist in Arizona and the Initiative will exacerbate minority dilution inequality.”
ALRA concludes that the Jungle Primary initiative would result in elections where minority voters have no candidate in the election, no “standard bearer.”
ALRA weighed in on the issue of precinct committee members. The initiative does not provide an election of the committeemen. According to the brief, any individual regardless of party affiliation may run for any party’s precinct committeemen positions. Also any voter regardless of party affiliation can vote in the election.
Under the “Top Two” system precinct committeemen may not “even be associated by registration with the party or hold its ideals.”
According to Ballot Access News, “Amicus curiae briefs on the side of the proponents were submitted by the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP), also known as Independent Voting. This is the group based in New York City.”