Green Party of California


For immediate release: December 4, 2003

Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Ross Mirkarimi, GPCA Spokesperson, 415-412-7526,
John Strawn, GPCA Spokesperson, 805-689-2840,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 323-654-2058,

SACRAMENTO - A statewide initiative, which would allow only the two top vote-getters in a primary, despite their party affiliation, to advance to the general election, has earned the complete and unequivocal opposition of the Green Party of California (GPCA).

"Limiting the general election to only the top two vote-getters denies voters a full range of electoral choices," said electoral reformer and GPCA Archivist Hank Chapot. "The voter's choice open primary does exactly the opposite of what its supporters claim by reducing choice to only two candidates. Additionally, in a majority of California's gerrymandered districts it will result in races where only two Democrats or only two Republicans face off in November."

The initiative, promoted by State Controller Steve Westly, would eliminate official political party candidates in all but the presidential race. It would return California to an open primary system similar to 1996's Proposition 198, which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Green Party spokesperson Ross Mirkarimi told the Sacramento Bee that the proposed initiative would halt the statewide progress Greens have made in recent elections.

"It almost guarantees a Democrat and Republican emerging on top, and that is a formula we just can't condone," Mirkarimi said.

This primary initiative has drawn opposition not only from the GPCA, but also from high-ranking officials in the two major parties, as recently quoted in the Bee.

Republican Party spokesman Mike Wintemute said that political parties play a key role in telling voters what candidates stand for and should not be taken out of the selection process. Democratic Party spokesman Bob Mullholland also said that the initiative raises several legal issues regarding third parties.

Supporters of the measure recently begun circulating petitions for the measure. They have until March 4 to collect the 598,105 valid signatures.

The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437