Posted by Jesse Shayne on May 03, 2017 at 11:00 AM
The Time Has Come to Open Florida’s Closed Primary
Over 3.5 million independent voters are locked out of Florida's primary, and they have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change that.
Next year, Floridians will vote on amendments to the state constitution, proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC). The CRC is holding public hearings across the state to learn what Florida voters want to see on the ballot in 2018.
We've been working with our friends at Florida Fair and Open Primaries, Progress for All, and IndependentVoting.org to organize open primaries supporters who want to be heard at the CRC hearings.
And in the past few weeks, open primaries has gotten a groundswell of endorsements from concerned newspapers and media influencers, who recognize that Florida desperately needs electoral reform.
Florida's closed primary system cuts out independents, who make up nearly one-fourth of the electorate and could moderate the major parties by preventing primary challenges from either extreme.
The Orlando Sentinel then published the same piece.
The commission should consider these [open primaries] and other reforms that would expand voter participation and reduce partisanship.
And earlier in April, the Tallahassee Democrat took a strong stand for electoral reform in Florida, publishing an editorial entitled “Elections issues should be at top of CRC’s agenda.”
All of this, of course, coming after media outlets across the state covered our Florida poll in late March.
Newspapers in Florida are clearly attuned to the negative repercussions of closed primaries and their ability to worsen partisanship and polarization. They're speaking out about independent voters' rights. And they're making it clear that Florida needs electoral reform.
As more and more media outlets endorse open primaries, it's clear that our issue is resonating.
Florida is the largest closed primary state in the country. A victory there would have serious consequences nationally and in other states.
not conform to the status quo of the “two lesser evils”!!