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Voters reject Proposition 121 on open primary system

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Paul Johnson says this is not the last time we will hear about Proposition 121 (Cronkite NewsWatch Video)

Voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure to do away with Arizona’s partisan primary system in favor of open primaries advancing top vote-getters regardless of party.

Cronkite News bases its projection on unofficial returns showing Proposition 121 trailing by a wide margin.

The measure would have created a single primary for state and federal offices in which all candidates compete.

Supporters said the measure was intended, in part, to encourage candidates with more moderate views. They also said it would level the playing field for independent candidates by allowing them to compete in primaries.

Opponents said the change would marginalize third parties and lead to some general election races featuring candidates from only one political party.