Posted on January 27, 2016 at 9:38 AM
Feeling Abandoned by the Parties, Latinos Seek Election Reform, More Likely to Vote if Enacted, Reveals Arizona Survey
Phoenix, AZ – January 27, 2016 – Today Open Primaries, a national leader on election reform, released the second installment of an independent survey revealing that Arizona Latinos overwhelmingly support primary election reform, favor candidates who support open primaries and would be far more likely to vote if elections were nonpartisan and allowed all voters to participate in all rounds of voting.
The survey found that Latino voters feel elected officials in Arizona are failing to represent their community and their disillusionment with both Republicans and Democrats has Latinos – the fastest growing population in the state – calling for change and turning toward independence. In Arizona, 41% of Latinos are independent, a trend that is accelerating, and 63% of Arizona Latinos and 77% of millennials (18-34) believe Latinos should register as Independents so that the community is not tied to one party or the other.
Further illustrating their frustration with both parties, the majority (75%) of Arizona Latinos support changing the system in the form of an open primaries initiative and would be more likely to vote for candidates and elected officials that did the same. In addition, 81% would be more likely to vote in 2016 if open primaries were on the ballot, and 81% of Latino voters in Arizona would be more likely to vote in future elections if an open primaries initiative became law. And interestingly, 75% indicated they would be more likely to vote for a local or congressional candidate who supports non-partisan elections.
The survey findings reveal Latinos feel they are neglected and are demanding electoral changes that foster more accountability to the voters.
- 90% of Latinos feel their community needs new strategies and methods of empowerment.
- 93% support changes to the electoral system that would foster more loyalty and accountability to the voters.
- 81% of Latinos believe they should not be exclusively loyal to any political party.
“Arizona voters, especially the Latino community, are frustrated by a range of issues in our electoral process from the lack of disclosure on dark money to the parties’ ability to lock independent voters out of the primaries. Latinos, as well as the general public, are more than ready to make a change to our electoral process! Once presented with the opportunity for change under an open primary system, 81% would be more likely to vote in 2016 if open primaries were on the ballot and 81% of Latino voters in Arizona would be more like to vote in future elections if an initiative became law. It is obvious that under our current broken system, Latinos are not motivated to participate. The demographics for Latinos are changing rapidly. We need to wake up and recognize that the current electoral process is not serving the people. We can change that under a new system that is inclusive to all voters regardless of their party affiliation,” said Armida Lopez, Director of Latino Outreach for Open Primaries.
“We need to create a culture of voter participation for Latinos in this state. According to our recent survey, under an open primary system, 81% of Latinos would be more likely to vote in future elections if this initiative became law. Compared to the low voter turnouts we have now; this would be a tremendous improvement. We need to make changes in our electoral system that are more inclusive for everyone and not just those that belong to the two major parties! The electorate’s unconformity is taking a new spin. The statistics don’t lie, the increase in number of people registered as Independent demonstrates the need for this change to occur. Open Primaries are the solution to allow everyone to participate fairly in primary elections,” added Danny Ortega, Attorney and Former Board Chair, National Council of La Raza.
Open Primaries surveyed 1,500 Arizona Latino registered voters in both English and Spanish from November 6th through November 15th, 2015. The 1,500 completed interviews were equally divided between voters who had participated in three or four of the last four elections, and voters who participated in zero, one or two of the last four elections. The interviews were then divided in each group to properly represent Latino voter registration in each of Arizona’s nine Congressional Districts. Registered Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters were all included in the sample. The survey was conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International, renowned for their deep record of research within the American Hispanic community.
Available for Interview
Danny Ortega, Attorney and Former Board Chair of National Council of La Raza (based in Phoenix, AZ)
Armida Lopez, Director of Latino Outreach for Open Primaries (based in Phoenix, AZ)
John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries (based in New York City)
Open Primaries is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization working to enact open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. Open Primaries is a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote.
Open Primaries is a member of The Open and Honest Coalition; a diverse group of leaders from across Arizona supporting two constitutional ballot initiatives that will transform the Arizona election system and bring transparency and fairness to every Arizonan participating in the voting process. Learn more at www.OpenandHonestAZ.com.