On Tuesday, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 14, the “open primary” ballot measure, which totally changes the primary election system in the Golden State.

Widely seen as a strong statement of voter frustration with big-time politics in California, Proposition 14 will allow anyone, regardless of party affiliation, to vote in a given statewide and congressional primary contest.

In addition, only the top two vote-getters of a primary race will move forward to the general election.

Leaders of the Green and Libertarian parties have been very critical of the open primary system, which they say will severely hurt the chances of their lesser-known, under-funded candidates from running in the general election.

Another result of the open primary could be that in a heavily Democratic district, for example, two Democrats will take the top slots, with no Republican candidate running in the general election. The same holds true in a Republican stronghold.

Political observers believe that the open primaries will become very competitive, with the Democratic and Republican candidates and their state parties spending tons of cash on those races to ensure a slot in a general election race.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly