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The latest from the movement

What Happened in Cleveland and Where We Go From Here

Posted by jesse shayne on July 15, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Yesterday afternoon, Open Primaries’ Al Benninghoff delivered 33,000 signatures to the Republican Rules Committee meeting urging the party to support open primaries in 2020.

He was denied entry to the meeting but got the petition to the right people. Meanwhile, delegates associated with Ted Cruz made their case for incentivizing states that conduct closed primaries in 2020. Ultimately, the Rules Committee made a recommendation to the delegates that they not make changes to the current rules. All the organizing we’ve done to project the voice of the 70% of Americans who favor open primaries certainly had an impact.

Next stop, Philadelphia, where we will deliver our petition to the Democratic Party Rules Committee. We know that hundreds of delegates support open primaries. We know that Bernie Sanders has made it a point of negotiation with the DNC and the Clinton team. And we have activists on the ground in every state working to amplify our cause.

Here’s the challenge: We walked into the Rules Committee meeting in Cleveland with 33,000 signatures. We’d like us to walk into the Rules Committee meeting in Philadelphia with 100,000 signatures.

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Faces of Open Primaries: Jim, US Navy

Posted by jesse shayne on July 05, 2016 at 1:00 PM

"How can we say we still live in a democracy when 3 million of our citizens were unable to participate in the New York primaries alone? 

How is it fair that these folks' hard-earned tax dollars went to pay for the primaries, and yet they didn't get to cast a ballot? That's taxation without representation! It's undemocratic, and it goes against the founding principles of our country; principles that I signed up to defend."

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Update On Our Petition Campaign

Posted by jesse shayne on June 30, 2016 at 5:59 PM

For the past month, we have been staging a petition calling on the rules committees of the parties to amend the primary rules at their respective conventions next month, and adopt open primaries for all future presidential races. With just two weeks to go until the Republican Convention begins, our priority is to secure as many signatures as possible. Over 30,000 Americans, who are tired of their tax dollars funding elections in which they cannot participate, have already signed, and we are trying to reach 100,000 signatures before July 18th.

The level of support for this campaign -- and our broader movement in general -- continues to surpass our wildest expectations. Our dedicated volunteers have poured hundreds of hours into this moment. People from all walks of life -- all across the country and from every political faction imaginable -- have heard our call to arms to restore our democracy by placing the power back in the hands of the voters, and not the parties.

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Faces of Open Primaries: Detroit, MI

Posted by jesse shayne on June 29, 2016 at 12:38 PM

"Our primaries have been a blow to the American people. Voter purges, six month deadlines, and registration changes. What is fair about any of this? We have a right to choose whom we prefer and it shouldn’t come down to arcane rules that no one is aware of.

"I’m disillusioned by the whole process. The people’s agenda is not a priority anymore. We are run by the 1% and crony capitalists. We don’t’ care for the most vulnerable in our society. We are the richest country with the worst child poverty rates and more black people in jail than we ever had in slavery. We have water systems poisoning whole towns and yet we allow billionaires to get away with paying no taxes. It’s a disgrace."

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Faces of Open Primaries: New York, NY

Posted by jesse shayne on June 21, 2016 at 2:02 PM

"Our primaries have been a blow to the American people. Voter purges, six month deadlines, and registration changes. What is fair about any of this? We have a right to choose whom we prefer and it shouldn’t come down to arcane rules that no one is aware of."

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Faces of Open Primaries: Diane -- Silver Spring, MD

Posted by jesse shayne on June 14, 2016 at 5:14 PM

I've resisted the urge to fall into despair when thinking about the extent to which our democracy is compromised. It has not been easy, but I am determined to do my part to chip away at the systemic problems, one by one. I have found the call for Open Primaries to be a relatively easy place to start.

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Faces of Open Primaries: Chapel Hill, NC

Posted by jesse shayne on June 08, 2016 at 12:51 PM

We have treated politics as a sporting event—behaving as if we are cheering for our favorite team instead of asking why we even have a situation where only one of two parties can be elected.  

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Faces of Open Primaries: Wilmington, NC

Posted by Adriana Espinoza on May 14, 2016 at 12:54 PM

FacesofOP_Wilmington.jpgI live in North Carolina in a closed primary state. In no way should an individual be forced to choose either party—Democrat or Republican in order to participate in an election. I was a registered independent for years until Bernie Sanders came along and was forced to register as a Democrat to support him. 

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An Intern's take on the NYC Open Primaries Rally

Posted by Adriana Espinoza on April 20, 2016 at 5:15 PM

AbbyHeadshot_small.jpg

In the wake of the 2016 Presidential Primary Election, the future of this country rests in the hands of American voters to choose our nation’s leader. As a democracy, every citizen has the constitutional right to vote in elections. This, however, is not the case in New York. New York holds closed primary presidential elections, meaning that you must be registered as either a Democrat or Republican in order to vote in the primaries at all.

As an intern for Open Primaries, I was able to join Open Primaries, IndependentVoting.org, and the New York City Independence Clubs along with other concerned Americans to protest the injustice of New York’s election laws. The Rally was held at New York City Hall on Thursday, April 12th. Over 150 people turned out to demand open primaries and raise awareness of the injustices taking place within New York’s election system.

In preparation for the event, I researched statistics and data to find out who was able to vote in the New York State Presidential Primary, in addition to analysis of New York’s election laws. As a young voter, the evidence I found was startling:

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Millions of New Yorkers Barred from Today’s Pivotal Election

Posted by John Fernandes on April 20, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Today’s primary in New York was one of the most important primary elections in a generation, with more delegates at stake than any other state left to vote outside California. Yet 3.2 million registered independents were barred from participating. 

New York joins a growing list of states across the country that have failed their citizens this primary season. 33% of millennial voters, 33% of Asian voters, 20% of Latino voters and 15% of African-American voters were denied the right to vote on Tuesday. Equally egregious, Republicans and Democrats voters were not allowed the choice to vote for a candidate outside of their party. 

The disenfranchisement of New York’s independent voters likely swayed the outcome.

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