Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Republicans ignore independents in Arizona, but will still use their money

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Today, Sen. Steve Gallardo offered an amendment to allow independents to vote in party primaries and an amendment that would require political parties to pay for their respective presidential preference elections, a measure that would save the General Fund $5 million.

“Republicans confirmed today that they do not value the opinion of independents in Arizona and that they intend to continue using taxpayer money from independents, but not allow them to vote,” said Sen. Steve Gallardo (D-13). “Requiring parties to pay for their own presidential preference election is fiscally conservative.”

The Gallardo #1 proposed amendment requires each political party represented on the presidential preference election ballot to pay their share of the costs of the presidential preference primary. Currently, the estimated $5 million to fund the costs comes from the General Fund.

The Gallardo #2 proposed floor amendment authorizes independent voters or voters who are registered with a party that is not eligible for representation on the ballot to vote in the next presidential preference election. It also allows a party that is represented on the ballot to prohibit independent voters from voting in that party's primary by filing a written notice with the Secretary of State's office at least 85 days before the presidential preference election.

The amendments were proposed to HB2177, legislation requiring presidential candidates to prove citizenship. Both amendments failed.

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