Arizona's experience with runoff elections

Arizona voters won't need a runoff election after today's primary to choose the Democratic and Republican nominees. National Conference of State Legislatures: 10 states have runoff primaries.

In the early 1990s, the state experimented with runoffs for statewide general elections. We abandoned it after dismal outcomes.

Evan Mecham won slightly under 40% of the vote in 1986 against Democrat Carolyn Warner and Democrat-turned-independent Bill Shultz.

Mecham was criticised for offensive words. After 15 months, he was impeached for misusing state funds and obstructing justice.To avert similar Mecham-type situations,

voters approved a proposal in 1988 requiring candidates to secure a majority vote.
If no contender got 50-plus-1, the top two would run off.

In every city except Tucson, all candidates for each office appear on the same ballot, and if no one receives a majority, the top two advance to a runoff.

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