Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gov Quinn: Limit politics in primaries

Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday used an amendatory veto to change a piece of legislation to create a much more open primary election.

Voters would still have to choose between Republicans or Democrats, but Quinn’s plan would let them do that in the voting booth. Right now anyone who votes in the primary has to pull a party ballot from election workers.

The governor said his open primary would be a win for voters, and a loss for the political bosses who want to control elections.

Quinn did not name any names. Critics immediately jumped on the governor’s move as a political ploy or phony populism. But University of Illinois at Springfield professor and former Illinois elections’ chief Ron Michaelson said he doesn’t think it’s phony.

“This is the reformer in the governor coming out. These are the kind of issues that Pat Quinn for 30 years has been promoting here in Illinois…but the way he has done what he has done is not going to go down well in Illinois.”

Michaelson said Quinn’s order to move away from party-dominated primaries is a “monumental” shift in the state’s political system.

Michaelson's comments were featured in a July 13, 2010, article by Illinois Statehouse News.

Download a PDF of the article