Posted by Jesse Shayne on August 11, 2016 at 10:18 AM
Hotlist, Volume 5
On the Ground in Philadelphia
Open Primaries staff and volunteers went to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to deliver our 40,000 signature petition and introduce an open primaries resolution at the rules committee meeting. Maggie Wunderly, a member of the Democratic Party Rules Committee, introduced the resolution, petition in-hand, and faced off against Rules Committee Chair Barney Frank. It was quite a spectacle to behold -- an activist standing up against an establishment stalwart as entrenched as Frank. Ultimately, over 25% of the Committee voted to enact a 50-state open primaries rule -- the first time that a major party has ever formally considered it.
While no major electoral reform measure passed at the DNC, we did force the Rules Committee to establish a “unity reform commission” to review issues of process and participation.
During the rules committee meeting, we took video testimonials of a number of our supporters, protesters, activists, and delegates, many of whom were frustrated when the Rules Committee meeting was closed to the public at the last-possible second.
Last week, Bernie Sanders announced the formation of a new organization, Our Revolution. Open Primaries President John Opdycke penned an op-ed for The Hill about Sanders new organization entitled “Whose Revolution?”
Open Primaries Around the Country
- The Let Colorado Vote campaign submitted 310,000 signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State this week -- a huge showing of support for their ballot measures. Now they wait for the SoS to approve the signatures so they can officially secure a spot on the ballot for their measures to reinstitute presidential primaries and to open taxpayer-financed primary elections to unaffiliated voters. Stay tuned…
- The Vote Yes on V team launched its grassroots voter outreach campaign, and has already knocked on over 2,500 doors in Sioux Falls. This week, they are at the Sioux Empire Fair with a bipartisan contingency: Former Republican state legislator (and father of term limits in South Dakota) John Timmer, along with his friend Andy, who is a former Democratic state legislator -- a true showing of bipartisan solidarity and support for primary reform.
National Conference of State Legislatures
This week, Open Primaries was in Chicago for the National Conference of State Legislatures, where we engaged with hundreds of state representatives and staffers. NCSL just announced the launch of a new information hub focused on electoral reform, and many reform-minded state representatives expressed an interest in primary reform to the OP team. Arkansas State Representative Dan Douglas delivered an impassioned speech on the principles of top-two elections and Nebraska State Senator Adam Morfeld spoke from the perspective of a legislator in a state with public, nonpartisan elections (read more about the effectiveness of the Nebraska legislature here). See all of the pictures on our new Instagram page.
In the News
- Closed Primaries are Less Inclusive Than Soviet Era Politics
- Taxpayers Spent Half a Billion Dollars on Party Primaries in 2016
- The Los Angeles Daily News: Why should taxpayers foot the bill for closed primaries?
- AlterNet covered our efforts at the DNC Rules Committee meeting
- The Michigan Daily: It’s time to change our primaries
From the Blog
- For the full scoop on what happened in Philadelphia, check out the blog post on our DNC efforts
- OP intern, Sammy Kohn-Levitt, details the daunting process through which he was able to track down the cost of primary elections in each state for his study on the cost of primary elections
- A new installment of Faces of Open Primaries, featuring aforementioned DNC Rules Committee member Maggie Wunderly