Libertarian Party of California Opposes SB568 Changing Election Dates

September 18, 2017

SB568 discourages voter participation

The California Legislature has passed SB568; a bill to move California’s primary election, including the 2020 presidential and other statewide legislative and congressional offices, up to March 3 from the traditional date in the first week of June.

“Libertarians say no to early primaries,” said Ted Brown, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of California. “For offices other than president, most voters are not even thinking about the ballot 8 months before the November general election. SB568 will result in less competition, more incumbents, and political insiders taking advantage of the system to win Election.”

As for the presidential primary, Libertarians believe that political parties should pay for their own primary elections. “Hacked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) prove that the fix was in, and that the party leadership decided Hillary Clinton would be their nominee — no matter how well Sen. Bernie Sanders did in the primaries,” said Brown. “If the presidential primary is just for show, then why should California taxpayers pay for it? The Democrats should pay for their own presidential primary – and hold it whenever they want to.” Primaries for other offices can be held in June. Even later in the year would be better, closer to when voters are actually prepared for the election. Several States hold their primary elections as late as September.

Libertarians also call for repeal of the “Top Two” voting system to further increase voter participation. Each political party should have a nominee on the ballot in November. Since 2012, however, voter choice has been limited to the top two vote-getters in the primary – even if they are from the same party. That’s why voter participation keeps going down in California. An initiative to repeal Top Two will start circulating shortly for the November 2018 ballot. “That’s the kind of election reform that we need,” said Brown.


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