The following statement was issued today by Jackie Salit, President & Harry Kresky, Legal Counsel, IndependentVoting.Org:
The decision by the California Supreme Court to reject an attempt to block the implementation of Proposition 14, the open primary, top two initiative passed by voters last June, is a positive and timely development.
The voters made a clear statement in passing Proposition 14 that they wanted to dislodge the supreme power of the parties. Though the state’s third parties—which supported the legal challenge are critics of the two-party system and say they want to give voters more competition elections—in this situation they have sided with the two parties against competition.
We’re glad the court rejected their effort to undo the very sweeping changes that Proposition 14 will bring to the state’s electoral process and to the 3.5 million independent voters who have gained full equality under the law.
Jackie Salit is president of IndpendentVoting.org, a national association of independents with organization in 40 states. Harry Kresky is the country’s foremost legal advocate of independent voters and general counsel for IndependentVoting.org.
Proposition 14, the Top Two open primary referendum, was passed by California voters by 54% in June and takes effect in January 2011. Top Two allows 3.4 million California independents to vote in the primaries, a right they had been previously denied.
Chris Hinyub wrote about the effort to scuttle Prop 14 at the California Independent Voter Network website:
A coalition of minor-party candidates, including members of Socialist Action, the Reform Party and the Coffee Party, filed suit against Senate Bill 6, a measure which fleshed out the new voting rules. In September, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard upheld the new rules. The First District Court of Appeal then refused to issue an emergency writ overturning the Superior Court decision. Plaintiffs filed a back-up appeal while also calling on the State Supreme Court to step in and block implementation of the new SB 6 rules and the operation of Prop. 14 until SB 6 was amended. The state’s high court has now denied their Writ Petition.
For more news for independent voters, see The Hankster.
Provocateur/ pundit/ organizer Nancy Hanks is a long-time activist in the independent political movement who’s done it all: petitioning to put independent candidates on the ballot from New York to Texas and points east, west, north and south; fundraising for the independent think tank, the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP), and its online counterpart, IndependentVoting.org; running as an independent for New York City Council from Queens, New York City’s most diverse borough; serving as the current Treasurer of the Queens County Committee of the Independence Party of New York (of the IP NYC Organizations); conducting research for the Neo-Independent, a magazine that addresses the concerns of independent voters.