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The latest from the movement

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

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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 independentvoting.org 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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Are voting rights for all voters? Let's ask Hillary

Posted by Caitlin Kelly on June 30, 2015 at 12:06 PM

This article was published by Jacqueline Salit for the Arizona Republic. 635708554808358322-hillary-clinton-smile.jpg

Naturally, Ted brought this up on the air, and we had a disagreement about whether independents feel apathetic (his view) or feel alienated (my view). The extreme culture of partisanship makes most people feel powerless, because they are.

The increase in independent voters — now 35 percent of Arizonans and 42 percent of Americans — is a statement about that powerlessness. When people choose a political identity that is other than what the parties want, it is an act of resistance, a step towards changing the partisan nature of the system.

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Poll: Should New Jersey and Pennsylvania switch to open primary elections?

Posted by Caitlin Kelly on June 26, 2015 at 11:13 AM

This article was published by Jim Flagg for lehighvalleylive.com.13710906-mmmain.jpg

New Jersey voters going to the polls in Tuesday's primary election were limited in their choices: Republicans could vote for Republicans, Democrats could vote for Democrats.

Period. That's the way a "closed" primary works, and it effectively prevents almost half of the state's voters, who are registered as independents or other parties, from having a say in nominating candidates.

Pennsylvania runs under the same closed system, which proponents say is essential to maintain a healthy two-party system.

But what we have now is an unhealthy two-party system, based on voter interest. Turnout in non-presidential years is embarrassing. In the May 19 Pennsylvania primary, less than 13 percent of registered voters in Northampton County took part.

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Philly elections need a shot of 21st-century reforms

Posted by Caitlin Kelly on June 26, 2015 at 11:12 AM

This article was published by David Thornburgh for Philly.com. 

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For the Committee of Seventy, Philadelphia’s long-standing government reform advocate, election day is like Christmas Day and the Super Bowl rolled into one. It comes after a long season of working to help educate, inform, and engage voters about what we believe are the hugely significant choices we all make about who will lead us for the next four years.

This past primary election season, we partnered with 27 different civic leadership groups to produce 15 forums and events that drew more than 5,000 Philadelphians. Our heavily trafficked website drew 53,000 visitors in search of information on candidates and issues and on where and when to vote.

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