/ Modified jul 9, 2012 8:25 a.m.

No Special Session On Nonpartisan Primary

Brewer wanted to amend initiative proposal; others wanted big revamp

The Arizona Legislature won't meet in special session this week despite Gov. Jan Brewer's desire to provide an alternative to an open primary election initiative.

Talk of the special session arose Friday, one day after the Open Government Committee filed 365,000 signatures on petitions to get the open primary amendment proposal on the ballot. The initiative needs 259,000 valid signatures to make the November ballot.

It would change what are now political party primaries to a single, all-voter, all-candidate primary from which the top two vote getters would move on to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

Candidates could choose to list their party affiliations on the ballot. Brewer's proposal for the special election was to require party affiliation listing.

Some Republican legislators said a special session should be used to put a counter measure on the ballot, something significantly different to give voters a choice.

Some discussed a system requiring party affiliation and the top primary vote getters from each party moving to the general election ballot.

Planning for such a special session included lining up votes for the proposals, and they simply weren't there, Senate President Steve Pierce told the Arizona Capitol Times.

“There’s a lot to consider. Some of my members were cautious about it. Some of them are in very contested races, and they just said it would be damaging to their race,” Pierce told the Capitol Times.

"The speaker said he had the votes and he could do it. I said I could get 16 there. I didn’t know if I could get them to vote for it,” the Prescott Republican said.

The Secretary of State's Office has 20 days from last Thursday to verify a random sampling of the signatures before sending them to county recorders for further checking. An announcement on whether the initiative and two others will make the ballot should come by the second week of August.

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