Explaining California’s ‘Top Two’ primary

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Ballots will look a little different Tuesday than in past elections because of California’s new open primary system. Approved by voters two years ago, the open primary sends the top two finishers to the November general election, regardless of party. Backers say the system will lead to more moderate candidates… perhaps. What’s immediately clear is that this is increasing competition for all candidates, including incumbents. KCRW’s Chery Glaser spoke to Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation about the change. “For the first time people who are not affiliated with any party can easily get on the ballot and compete on a level playing field with partisan candidates,” said Alexander.

Warren Olney talked to the LA Times’ Jim Newton and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci about the “top two” election and how redistricting may affect this race. “This is a state where the Congressional races are going to matter,” said Marinucci.