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Johnson will discuss nonpartisan elections

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson will come to OLLI to discuss a national movement to reduce partisanship by shifting power from political parties to the people.

It goes under various names, including open primary, top-two primary, non-partisan elections, and voter-nominated elections.

State legislators vote in party blocs on many proposed laws because they are beholden to their political party for re-election.

With this system, all candidates appear on one ballot for primary elections, regardless of party. The two candidates receiving the most votes face off in the general election. The goal is having elections that are less partisan and create incentives for elected officials from all parties to work together.

California, Washington and Louisiana use this top-two system for primary elections for their state offices and congressional seats. And currently, state representatives in Illinois, New Mexico, Maine, Alaska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Montana and Utah have introduced similar legislation.

Efforts also are now underway to put this approach before Arizona voters in 2016. It failed on the 2012 ballot.

Leading this endeavor in Arizona is Johnson, mayor of Phoenix from 1990 to 1994. Under his leadership; Phoenix was voted Best Run City in the World. Johnson ran twice for Arizona governor, in 1994 and 1998, and today is registered as an Independent.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7, meet Johnson and learn more about this open, non-partisan primary process at OLLI's Lunch and Learn program from 1 to 2 p.m., being held in room 34 of Yavapai College's Sedona Center on Cultural Park Place, across State Route 89A from Sedona Red Rock High School.

Lunch & Learn is a "town square" for local residents to meet, chat and interact with speakers doing interesting and important things in this town and state. This enjoyable, informative, weekly community event is free and open to all.

Bring a lunch or come for complimentary coffee, tea, water and a light snack, and join the conversation at 12:30 p.m., or come from 1 to 2 p.m. to hear about open, non-partisan primary elections and to interact with Johnson.

Part of Yavapai College, OLLI is a local, volunteer, peer-to-peer, adult education program that offers many learning groups and workshops each term for a nominal fee. Its fall term is just beginning, and over 100 classes and workshops are still available. Call 649-4275 or visit the Yavapai College website for more information about OLLI or the Lunch & Learn program.

Copyright 2015 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: October 7, 2015

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