Arizona Competitive Elections Reform Act (2008)

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The Arizona Competitive Elections Reform Act was an initiative measure to implement ranked choice voting using the Schulze method, and less stringent ballot access laws. It also would have mandated that political parties assert their viability every two general election cycles.

Background

This initiated statute was proposed by the $500 threshold committee Arizonans for Competitive Elections Reform in Favor of I-17-2008, and its chairman, McClintock High School student Emerson French as an alternative to Arizona's plurality voting scheme. While a local campaign for instant runoff voting in Glendale, Arizona, Better Ballot Glendale actively campaigned for a change to that city's charter, French felt the need for statewide reform for elections. The official description of the initiative read, "This initiative aims to make Arizona elections more democratic by instituting ranked-choice voting in races with more than two candidates. This voting method asked voters to rank the candidates in order from the first, most-preferred choice to the least, and can be used for any candidate election. The majority winner of the election is calculated using voter preferences. Due to preferential ranks, no votes are "lost" from one candidate to another, so election results reflect the true wishes of the people. The initiative also makes running easier for qualified candidates so that choices exist for voters."[1]

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