THE THINK TANK

Think Tank takes crack at democratizing the election system for unaffiliated

Mar 18, 2022, 10:30 AM | Updated: 1:57 pm
(AP Photo, File/Ross Franklin)...
(AP Photo, File/Ross Franklin)
(AP Photo, File/Ross Franklin)

“Other” is now the most common voter registration in Maricopa County, higher than either Republican or Democrat.

Yet, our voter laws make it virtually impossible for anyone other than a Democrat or a Republican to get elected.

We discuss political reform efforts with County Recorder Stephen Richer and political consultant Chuck Coughlin.

What’s the problem?

As one observer noted: “Independent and unaffiliated candidates must collect nearly six times as many signatures compared to partisan candidates, and they do not appear on any primary ballot. The system is set up to make it nearly impossible to get elected unless you affiliate with one of the two parties.”

Another observation: virtually all successful candidates are chosen by 35% of Arizona primary voters, and nearly 80% of all candidates win their election outright in a primary (where unaffiliated candidates cannot even compete) due to a voter registration advantage of one or the other party.

Richer and Coughlin discuss these facts, their impacts and efforts to democratize our voting system in this week’s Think Tank.

The Think Tank airs on KTAR 92.3 FM on Saturday 6-7 p.m. and Sunday 9-10 p.m.

Podcasts are available after broadcast. Older shows are archived at www.mikeoneil.org.

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Think Tank takes crack at democratizing the election system for unaffiliated