President and Founder of the Free & Equal Elections Foundation Christina Tobin sits down for an interview with Ben Swann, the award-winning produced of Reality Check, a tough, independent-minded fact-checking series.
Background: Top Two means that only the top two vote-receiving candidates in the primary make it onto the ballot. This means that a general election would only feature two candidates, who could be both Democrat or both Republican.
During the interview, Christina points out the sterilizing effects of Top Two. Third parties and independents would cease to exist. Top Two is currently in place in California, Washington and Louisiana. In Louisiana, only one incumbent has ever been voted out of office in a thirty-year period.
In the 2012 general election, the Free & Equal Elections Foundation participated in a grassroots effort to defeat Proposition 121 which would have installed Top Two in Arizona. As part of the effort, Free & Equal hosted a nonpartisan discussion panel at the Goldwater Institute on October 9, 2012.The video of this panel is available on the Free & Equal website.
Through a nonpartisan coalition featuring Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, the League of Women Voters and the Free & Equal Elections Foundation , Top Two was ultimately defeated by a 2-to-1 margin in Arizona.
This victory in Arizona would not have been possible without honest media like Ben Swann and the nonpartisan grassroots movement. Together, concerned citizens were able to overcome a proposition that had been created by the worst elements active in politics today. Since the defeat of Top Two in Arizona, it has faced challenges elsewhere from citizens unwilling to have their voting power diminished. The defeat of Top Two in Arizona proves the power of the grassroots and the ability of the grassroots to create a ripple effect.