Top Two in California Primaries, June 2012: By the Numbers

by - June 14, 2012

On June 5, California held its first "top two" primary in races for Congress and state legislature. All candidates competed against one another. Voters cast one vote, and the top two finishers advanced. FairVote today released an analysis of the primaries based on a series of disturbing numbers. Executive Director Rob Richie commented:

"Some editorial writers have been quick to praise the new system. But our findings help point to the need for improvements like those proposed by FairVote in 2010. At a minimum, we believe that: 1) parties' association rights should be better protected; 2) more than two candidates should advance to the general election ballot to avoid unrepresentative outcomes; 3) write-in candidates should be allowed in the general election; and 4) ranked choice voting should be used in the general election to uphold majority rule while preserving voter choice."

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