Governor promotes Calif. open primary initiative

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is urging voters to back an initiative on Tuesday's ballot that would scrap the primary system for state and congressional elections.

After casting his own ballot in a Los Angeles elementary school, Schwarzenegger said voters could help end partisan stalemates in the California Legislature by supporting Proposition 14.

The so-called open ballot initiative allows voters to cast ballots for any candidate regardless of party affiliation, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election.

The governor and other supporters say the change would benefit moderates who often stumble in primaries where party activists have an oversized say in the outcome. But opponents argue that if parties are marginalized, special interests will fill the void.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.