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Opponents of Proposition 14 plan to file a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court tomorrow seeking to block the state from transitioning to a "top two" primary system.

The lawsuit targets Senate Bill 6, the bill implementing the "top-two' primary system that was approved with 53.8 percent of the vote in the June primary. The initiative, placed on the ballot as part of the February 2009 budget deal, replaced the current party primaries with a system in which candidates of all parties run on the same primary ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to a run-off.

The opponents said in a press release that the lawsuit will argue that the measure disenfranchises voters' rights by eliminating write-in candidates and discriminates against candidates from parties not recognized by the state.

As The Bee reported this spring, minor party organizers and candidates are concerned that they could lose their ballot-qualified status under the new system. Candidates from such parties would be left with listing "no party preference" on the ballot.

The complaint is being filed by six voters, including ballot access proponent Richard Winger, a vocal critic of the initiative. It was unclear late Wednesday who is funding the legal challenge.


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