California's open primary race

Most elections in America boil down to Republicans versus Democrats. The exception is in California's primary.

Jason Olson, founder of, is one of the people who helped change the state's primary to a Top Two system.

He believes the political parties have too much influence over how elections are governed now.

Olson explains voters decided in 2010 that they had had enough partisan dysfunction and they passed Proposition 14, which "took the power to run the elections away from the parties and gave it back to the voters."

According to the Ventura County Recorder/Registrar's office, "Under the Top Two Open Primary Act implemented in 2012, all candidates running for voter-nominated offices (state constitutional offices, state legislative offices, and U.S. congressional offices), regardless of their party preference, will appear on a single combined ballot, and voters can vote for any candidate from any political party. The Top Two Open Primary Act requires that only the two candidates for voter-nominated offices who receive the highest and second-highest number of votes cast at the Primary Election shall appear on the ballot as candidates at the General Election. The top two winning candidates may be of the same party, different parties, or no party."

Dr. Fernando Guerra, political scientist with Loyola Marymount University, says case-in-point, the three Republicans and two Democrats vying to succeed Senator Barbara Boxer in Washington are examples of how the rules have changed.

The top two vote-getters in the June 7 primary will face-off in the November general elections.

Right now, the two Democrats - California Secretary of State Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez - are likely to be running against each other, according to the most recent polling.

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