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The latest from the movement

The showdown on voting rights in Virginia

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 26, 2016 at 5:52 PM

Virginia voters:  Do you believe legislators who want to limit your right to vote will represent your other interests?  Me neither.  The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) has asked the State Board of Elections to administer a test in the March 1 primary – and they have agreed.  Voters who select a red ballot will be required to sign a statement indicating they are Republicans.   

Loyalty pledges are a RPV tradition.  In 2008 and again in 2012, the party tried to impose a similar condition for participating in their primary – to vote for the GOP nominee in the general election – before withdrawing it under public pressure.  They may go through with it this time.  How should Independents – and other VA voters disturbed by this attack on democracy – respond?   

Be Republican for just long enough to cast your vote.  Then let’s turn our attention to taking back our government, because the latest RPV shenanigans are not the only symptoms of a chronically ill system.  In the November 2015 elections, all 122 incumbent VA state legislators were re-elected and 79 of 140 candidates for the legislature had no general election challenger.

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Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Introduce the Open Primaries Joint Resolution

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 26, 2016 at 5:47 PM

Santa Fe – Representatives Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque) and Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos) have introduced the Open Primaries, House Joint Resolution 12 (HJR 12). The constitutional amendment would allow all voters, regardless of party affiliation to participate by voting in a primary election.

“This is a way to make the political process more inclusive for all New Mexicans” said Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque). “The low voter turnout last year should be troubling to all of us. We must open the franchise of government to allow total voter participation in every step of the electoral process.”

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Black Bart Nominee: Symbol of New Politics in CA—Steve Glazer

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 26, 2016 at 2:46 PM

This article was written by Joel Fox for Fox & Hounds.

California politics are changing and there is no greater symbol of that change than state Senator Steve Glazer.

Glazer represents a new division in state politics. With the Republican Party losing influence, the majority Democratic Party is beginning to splinter into different factions. This situation has been driven by California’s move to the top-two primary system. Glazer was involved in probably the most high profile example of a top-two intraparty clash when he captured his senate seat in a special election last May topping Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla.

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The California Political Model

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 20, 2016 at 11:48 AM

This article was written by Hoyt Hilsman for Huffington Post Los Angeles.

The $171 billion budget proposal released this week by California Gov. Jerry Brown shows how politics can work well in a state with the 8th largest economy in the world. It also offers a clear contrast to the political dysfunction in the budget process in Washington. Long derided for its "fruit-and-nuts" politics, California is leading the way in envisioning a political system that can actually get things done.

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New Cause for Hope in Arizona Politics: Honest and Open Election & Campaign Finance Committees Formed to Support Two Constitutional Ballot Initiatives for the 2016 Arizona Ballot

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 13, 2016 at 10:23 AM

CONTACT
Drew Sexton
(602) 738-1187
dsexton@azhighground.com

 

PHOENIX — Arizonans across the political spectrum are fed up with the state of our government.  Almost two-thirds of voters believe the State Legislature has the wrong priorities and that there is too much partisan conflict in the Arizona State Capitol.  Now, there is finally cause for hope that together we can change the system and make it work for the people of Arizona 

Two committees were filed yesterday with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to support two constitutional amendments to promote fairness and transparency in Arizona candidate elections. The committees will be spearheaded by the Open and Honest Elections coalition which is driven by the fundamental premise that Arizona voters have the right to know who is contributing large amounts of money to influence our elections and the right to participate equally in all elections.

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Opening primaries to more voters would be a win for democracy

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 12, 2016 at 6:16 PM

This article was published in the Florida Times Union.

There is something anti-democratic about the way Florida shuts voters out of primaries.

That’s democratic, small “D,” because both parties tend to play favorites.

While an increasing number of Floridians are declaring themselves independents, they often are shut out of deciding who will represent them.

Here’s the deal: When every candidate comes from one party, the primary becomes open, serving as the general election, meaning everyone can vote.

But if there is a write-in candidate, the primary closes.

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Open Non-Partisan Primary Proposal Makes Ballot as Amendment V

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 12, 2016 at 5:57 PM

This article was published in The Dakota Free Press.

At this rate, Rick Weiland may end up getting more constructive laws passed than Mike Rounds….

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs certified Rick Weiland and Drey Samuelson’s open non-partisan primary petition today. Neighbors, you will thus have the opportunity to vote on a proposal to change how we elect every county, state, and federal official except for the President. Under the proposal, instead of holding separate primaries for Democratic and Republican candidates, we would hold one primary election in June, with all candidates from all parties, plus Independents, on the same ballot. Every voter from every party, including Independents, would get to vote on the same ballot, for whichever candidates they want. The top two primary vote-getters for each office (or, in races like State House, where voters have two seats to fill, the top four vote-getters) would advance to the general election.

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Open Primaries at the National Black Caucus of State Legislators

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 04, 2016 at 1:08 PM

IMG_4230_edited.jpgIn December, I attended the National Black Caucus of State Legislators in Los Angeles, California.  Prior to arriving, my colleagues and I were anxious about how the African American leadership would receive us. 

My previous negative experiences with the older generation made me pessimistic about the leadership’s receptiveness to Open Primaries’ presence.  Dr. Jesse Fields reminded me to keep an open mind; I agreed and took her advice.  I was nervous prior to my arrival and upon touching down, I had varying experiences with a variety of people. 

“Gallup reports 45% of Americans consider themselves independents, making them the largest community of voters in the country.”  These poll results mirror an important statement as Americans refuse to join parties because they feel their voices are not being heard.  I was honored to be a voice expressing discontent with our current electoral system and I am confident our presence spoke volumes at NBCSL.  

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Faces of Open Primaries: Kevin Glover

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 17, 2015 at 5:17 PM

Kevin_Glover.jpgThe work that Open Primaries is doing in Arizona is crucial for our citizens. From our efforts to open the Arizona Presidential Primaries to Independent voters, to our efforts pushing the top two system for our statewide and Congressional elections. 

I have heard some very great responses from people with various political persuasions that it is time for the people to have power over the parties when it comes to electing our leaders and that nominees for various political offices are accountable to all of us. 

As a canvasser, it has been an exciting experience hearing people express how our electoral process needs structural change and must not restrain people.

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Safe political districts make for an unsafe society

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 16, 2015 at 6:30 PM

This article was written by Randy Schultz for the Sun Sentinel

FloridaStateLeg.jpgThe San Bernardino massacre happened as the Florida Supreme Court stripped Tallahassee of some political power. The events are related.

Florida schools endure a testing regimen that infuriates parents and teachers and frustrates students in the name of a bogus accountability system. Too many Floridians still lack health insurance. The cost of homeowner insurance remains too high. Sentencing laws fill prison cells with non-violent offenders.

Yet the Legislature is rushing to ... make Florida even more the Gunshine State. Bills would allow open carry of firearms, despite no evidence of broad public support for such legislation. Bills would allow college students to carry concealed weapons, despite the opposition of all university presidents and campus police chiefs.

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