Saturday, 23 Sep 2023

An end to political deadlock? Arizonas experiment with third parties

An end to political deadlock? Arizonas experiment with third parties


An end to political deadlock? Arizonas experiment with third parties

In a swing state that's likely to decide the next presidential election, two new third parties want to get on the ballot and other groups want to remake the way votes are cast and counted.

Arizona, which voted for President Joe Biden in 2020 as the state has grown more purple, could see big shifts to its political establishment in the next year, all premised on the idea that the dominance of the two main political parties creates dysfunction and prevents progress on issues that matter to voters. That has Democrats and Republicans here worried.

One new party, No Labels, gathered enough signatures to put candidates on the ballot in 2024. Another new party, Forward, is starting to gather signatures to get ballot status.

Separately, a coalition of voting groups has surveyed voters to understand their thoughts on ranked-choice voting and open primaries in an effort to run a 2024 ballot measure that would greenlight the concepts in Arizona.

While similar efforts are afoot in other states and nationwide, Arizona provides a fertile place to experiment with attempts to reimagine elections.

About one-third of Arizona voters aren't registered with a political party. Both major parties try to court these independent voters to build winning coalitions. In recent years, Democrats have been more successful at amassing independent support, though Republicans dominated for decades before that.

The state also has one of the country's most prominent independents - Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the former Democrat who left the party earlier this year and hasn't said whether or how she'll run to keep her seat in 2024.

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