California's Prop 14 may go forward, court decides

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The California Supreme Court has denied a request to block Proposition 14 from taking effect. California voters approved the measure to change the state’s primary election process.

Prop 14 allows any registered voter to cast a vote for any candidate in a primary election, regardless of party affiliation. The top two vote-getters compete in the general election.

Attorneys for minor political parties and a group of voters filed a lawsuit to prevent Prop 14 from going forward. They say the switch to a “top-two primary election” will shut out minor party candidates and violate voters’ rights.

A San Francisco appeals court takes up the legal challenge to Prop 14 next year. But the attorney challenging Prop 14 asked the California Supreme Court to fast-track the case because the first open primary election under the new system could be held as early as February. That vote will be to fill the state senate seat left vacant by the death of Long Beach State Senator Jenny Oropeza.

The state’s highest court denied the request. The case continues on appeal in the lower court.