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Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson calls for more say from independent voters and candidates

A group that wants to allow independent voters more say in Arizona elections is renewing its call for this year’s midterm races.

Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson is part of a group called Save Democracy. He told PBS’s “Arizona Horizon” how hard it is to run for office outside of the existing two-party system in Arizona.

“It takes 7,000 signatures to become a Republican candidate, it takes 6,000 signatures to become a Democratic candidate. You have about four or five months to collect your signatures. You want to run as an independent today? You need 40,000 signatures in 30 days,” said Johnson.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, more than 33% of registered voters in Arizona are registered as Independent as of January, second only to the 34% that are registered as Republican.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.