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The latest from the movement

Congressional Disconnect with the People

Posted by Griffin Kenny on July 21, 2015 at 12:12 PM

CongressBroken.jpgIn the days leading up to the 2008 Presidential Election it seemed as if America had reached a historic tipping point. With 3 out of every 4 Americans believing their country was headed down the wrong track, they were ready for dramatic change.

Americans were poised to elect a president who promised them just that. However, today, almost 7 years later, the American people are still waiting for that change. Despite several policy achievements by this Administration “politics as usual” still rules over Washington, crippling the hope for a better America. 

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Legal Corner: Laying Down Markers

Posted by Harry Kresky on July 20, 2015 at 3:22 PM

NJSTATEHOUSE.jpgFor Americans, it’s hard not to believe that winning is everything.  If you can’t win, why play the game? Recent developments in the effort to achieve nonpartisan primary elections have reminded me of what my mentor Fred Newman said about the subject of winning. "Not only isn’t winning everything, but losing advances the struggle."

On July 7th the U.S. Supreme Court received a petition asking it to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of New Jersey’s taxpayer funded closed primary system which bars 47 percent of the States’ voters, who have chosen not to affiliate with a political party, from participating in the first round of voting, the primary. 

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Philadelphia is Fed Up with it's Closed Primary

Posted by Adriana Espinoza on July 16, 2015 at 6:32 PM

In May of 2015, in response to a surge of articles and editorials expressing dissatisfaction with the closed primary system, the Open Primaries outreach team began calling voters in Philadelphia. We wanted to gain perspective on Independent and unaffiliated voters in the area, measure their satisfaction with the current primary system, and provide outreach about reform options.  

Our survey started with a set of general questions about primaries to gauge the voter’s understanding of and thoughts about the current system. What we discovered was contrary to how the media characterizes independent and unaffiliated voters. The voters we spoke to in Philadelphia were not apathetic and disengaged. By and large, these voters knew about the closed partisan system, and had been fed up with it for years. We spoke to many Philadelphia voters who were angry about being locked out of the first round of voting. In all, 73% said there are flaws in the current closed primary system.

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Learn with the Intern: The Inner Workings of a Presidential Primary

Posted by Samantha Serrano on July 09, 2015 at 11:47 AM

primariesstatebystate.jpgWhile working on developing a Presidential Primaries data base for Open Primaries Inc., I have come to the realization that fully understanding the presidential election process is not as simple as one might believe. Paying attention to the media helps, but to comprehend the inner workings of how a candidate gets a party’s nomination to run for President of the United States, I recommend that the average American do some research on how the process works. Here is what I have found out thus far:


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Open Primaries is met with overwhelming support in Arizona

Posted by Adriana Espinoza on July 08, 2015 at 11:38 AM


A few weeks ago, Open Primaries organized a Telephone Town Hall in Arizona with more than 3,900 participants. Arizonans joined Open Primaries President John Opdycke, former Mayor of Phoenix Paul Johnson, and Founder of Jackie Salit in a discussion moderated by our Arizona Campaign Director Patrick McWhortor.

The subject of the call was our broken political system and the role of nonpartisan elections to amend that system. The response to the call was overwhelming in the sheer volume of participants. 

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How Nebraskans think about their unicameral, nonpartisan political system

Posted by Russell Daniels on July 02, 2015 at 3:51 PM

omaha.jpgOmaha, Nebraska. Home of great steak, Warren Buffet and a truly unique political structure unlike any other in the United States. Nebraska has a unicameral, nonpartisan legislature that has allowed motions from both parties to be passed in recent years.

Progressive reforms like repealing the death penalty, increasing rights for gay and lesbian workers and expanding the use of medical marijuana have all gotten traction in Nebraska! What?!?! Nebraska?! That's a red state! How is that possible? How is this madness happening?! 

Nebraska's unicameral and nonpartisan system was most recently explored by Open Primaries Intern, Samantha Serrano. So, when I was given the chance to spend some time in Omaha, I decided I wanted to speak with some real Nebraskans and get their perspective.

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Intern's Insight: SCOTUS Draws the Line on Redistricting in Arizona

Posted by Caitlin Kelly on July 02, 2015 at 2:43 PM

scotus-building.jpgA Millennial’s Perspective: Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

In 2000, the state of Arizona created an independent commission of five citizens to take over the job of redistricting, drawing electoral district boundaries. This process, most commonly executed by State Legislatures, is highly politicized and conducted in such a way that is fueled by self-interest rather than for the benefit of the People. The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission was formed to combat this issue, in hopes of bringing attention back to the needs of the citizens rather than placing focus on the game of gerrymandering.

The State Legislature of Arizona recently challenged the existence of this commission, claiming it was unconstitutional. This argument stood on the language of Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which states “[t]he Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing [sic] Senators.”

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Learn with the Intern: Open Our Democracy Act

Posted by Samantha Serrano on July 02, 2015 at 11:13 AM

delaney_graphic.jpgWith political party polarization and gridlock on the rise in the United States, Congress now has an eighty percent disapproval rate from the American people.  Over the past four years, Congress' approval ratings have been among the lowest Gallup has measured. Representative Democracy in our country appears to be falling apart, and citizens around the country are demanding change.  

Republican Congressman John Delaney (MD-6) has a multi-step plan to fix our broken congressional system.  Delaney has recently re-introduced the Open Our Democracy Act.  If passed, this bill would benefit U.S. citizens in three major ways.


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Watch our phone outreach team in action

Posted by Kellie Ryan on July 01, 2015 at 5:41 PM

phone_play.jpgGo behind the scenes and watch our phone outreach team in action. The phone outreach operation plays a role in the overall organizational strategy of Open Primaries. It is one of our main tools for voter education. We call both affiliated and unaffiliated voters from all 50 states. The team conducts opinion polls, the results of which we use to help measure voter satisfaction with the electoral process, inform us of voter support for an open primary campaign, and build our movement of supporters.

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Legal Corner: What the SCOTUS decision on redistricting in Arizona means for America's voters

Posted by Harry Kresky on July 01, 2015 at 2:51 PM

CourtHouse2.jpgThe ruling issued by the Supreme Court on June 29th, rejecting a challenge to a Redistricting Commission implemented by the people of Arizona through the initiative and referendum process (“I&R”), is a positive example of our highest court exercising political leadership.  

The challenge, brought by the State’s Legislature, was based on language in Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which states, inter alia

″[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing [sic] Senators.” 

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