Can California’s new open primaries end partisan gridlock?

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The upcoming open primaries on June 5 will alter California’s political landscape considerably. Will open primaries help end political gridlock? Let’s hope so. But they could also lead to serious divisions within parties and might not lead to much change at all.

In the first-ever open primaries on June 5th, California voters can vote for any candidate and are not bound by party affiliation. The top-two vote getters then face each other in the general election in November. This means independent and decline-to-state voters will be able to vote in the primaries, something which has never happened before. This almost certainly means that more votes will be cast and some results may well be unexpected.

Since most districts in California lean toward one of the major parties, open primaries almost guarantees that many general election races will be between members of the same party.

More on the upcoming California open primaries.