Posted on June 15, 2016 at 1:57 PM
Statement From Open Primaries President John Opdycke on Bernie Sanders's Plans to Fight for Open Primaries at the Convention
Senior Vice President
"Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he will be fighting for electoral reforms within the Democratic Party, including open primaries, in the run-up to the convention.
I commend Bernie for his willingness to push the Democratic Party establishment to support open primaries. They would be wise to listen. The 2016 primary process had millions of Americans scratching their heads and saying: "why is the process run this way?" Over 26 million independents were barred from voting at all, and millions of Democrats and Republicans were subjected to arcane rules, regulations, and early registration deadlines. A recent AP/NORC poll showed that 70% of all Americans favor an open primary system that allows everyone to participate.
Bernie is leading a charge within the Democratic Party. Open Primaries is leading a national campaign to urge both parties to embrace open primaries at their conventions, and we are supporting local coalitions of Democrats, Republicans and independents that are challenging closed primaries at the state level. The primaries are funded by the taxpayers and administered by government agencies, and every American should be able to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice, whether they are registered in a party or not.
Our immediate goal is to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition that we will deliver to the conventions. I hope everyone who believes that the current system is outdated and unfair will sign and circulate it among their friends and family."
Open Primaries is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization working to enact open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. Open Primaries is a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote.