Arizona survey respondents want an open primary system

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A new Arizona State University (ASU) study found that more than four in five respondents want the state to adopt an open primary system. The study from ASU’s Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy (CISD) also revealed respondents strongly approved of voting by mail and broadly support measures to ensure election integrity, including publicly testing voting machines, enacting stricter requirements for voter identification and auditing election results.

The study was run in part by Thom Reilly, a professor at the School of Public Affairs and Co-Director of CISD. His group polled over a thousand registered voters in Arizona.

“We asked a series of questions. The survey was focused on voter confidence, so we asked them about issues aimed at increasing voter confidence in our elections,” said Reilly.

One of the biggest takeaways from the poll was that four out of five voters want an open primary system, which puts every candidate on the ballot regardless of political affiliation. Ranked choice voting gathered roughly 52% support, with Reilly noting that Republican voters were largely against the idea.

Another major note from the study found 65% of voters felt confident about the results of Arizona elections, a surprisingly high number, according to Reilly.

“I looked at it as there is actually a consensus. That’s part of the name of the report is that there is a surprising amount of consensus around issues of both election integrity or election safety and reform. So either 65% of the electorate was at least very confident or somewhat confident in our election system,” said Reilly.

The other somewhat surprising number from the poll was that 73% of voters support voting by mail despite recent legislature attempts to get rid of it. Reilly pointed out a large majority supports mail-in-voting but also support additional election safeguards to ensure election security.

Thom Reilly, Professor, the School of Public Affairs and Co-Director, Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy at ASU

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