Posted by Jesse Shayne on August 18, 2016 at 1:07 PM
The Tide is Turning
On Tuesday, the open primaries movement won a significant victory.
After a lengthy legal battle in which the Democratic Party of Hawaii sought to have Hawaii’s open primary system declared null and void, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in our favor, rejecting the Democratic Party’s desire to exclude independent and unaffiliated voters from voting in elections they pay for. Almost $450 million dollars of taxpayer funds were spent on the presidential primaries this year -- close to $2 million dollars in the state of Hawaii alone.
This is a huge legal victory. And we are working to explore and engage new avenues through which to challenge the legality of closed primaries and counter efforts to close open primaries.
Will you support our work to allow every voter an equal stake in our electoral process?
This victory can’t be understated. The onus was on the Hawaii Democratic Party to prove that an open system burdens its associational rights, and they failed. The bar for either major party to successfully challenge open primaries is now much higher.
43% of all Americans -- including 50% of millennial voters -- now identify as independent. Had they succeeded in their legal challenge, the Democratic and Republican parties would have been able to use this decision as a weapon to close the primaries to them in the dozens of states that conduct some form of open election.
70% of Americans now support open primaries. The momentum is with us. We won’t stop fighting until all Americans are given an equal stake in our democratic process and allowed the right to vote for who they want.