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The latest from the movement

Supporter Spotlight: Obama campaign volunteer locked out of 2008 primary in New York

Posted by Kellie Ryan on March 04, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Melanie2012Convention.jpgIn 2007 Melanie Whaley finally found a presidential candidate she was excited about who inspired her to get more involved in politics. She became the office manager of the Poughkeepsie, NY’s Obama for America campaign office and was responsible for organizing volunteers to go to Pennsylvania for get out the vote efforts. "I wanted to become more active. Up to this point, all I had done was vote. I was genuinely excited about Obama in a way that I hadn't been about any other candidate, and I was willing to volunteer my time to help elect him."

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Meet the millennials working to enact open primaries in New York

Posted by Kellie Ryan on February 25, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Anthony_Pic.jpgMeet Anthony Del Signore, the campaign manager for our petition to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to urge the New York State Democratic Party to open the 2016 Presidential Primary to independent voters in New York. Anthony was born and raised in South Glens Falls, New York and graduated summa cum laude from Pace University in 2014 with a degree in Political Science. He is currently looking to obtain a Ph.D. in American Politics from Temple University and hopes to begin a career in academia and independent activism. Anthony was an intern at the Independence Party of New York City and has been an ongoing activist for independent voters. Read a Q&A with Anthony below:

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VIDEO: New Yorkers ask for open primaries

Posted by Kellie Ryan on February 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM


Open Primaries team members Zach Handler and Russell Daniels took to the streets of New York to talk to voters about the election process. Many New York residents were surprised to learn that 2.9 million independent voters in the state are currently locked out of voting in the primary elections. Senator Chuck Schumer wrote an Op-ed in the New York Times advocating for the end of partisan primaries and encouraging a shift to Nonpartisan Top Two primaries in all 50 states. Open Primaries has partnered with the Independence Party of New York City to ask Senator Schumer urge the New York Democratic Party to open the 2016 presidential primary to independent voters. We are aiming to gather and present Senator Schumer with 7,500 + signatures by March 13th


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The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman says Top Two offers path to something radically promising

Posted by Kellie Ryan on February 03, 2015 at 12:00 PM

538_blog_home.jpgOpponents of Top Two Nonpartisan primaries often claim that this type of primary system limits voters' choices by narrowing the general election to two candidates.   Actually, a Top Two Nonpartisan Primary gives voters more real choice – more power - by allowing them to engineer competitive November elections, instead of predetermined “elections-in-name-only” controlled by the parties.  According to David Wasserman, a senior analyst at The Cook Political ReportTop Two Nonpartisan primaries is a reform whose time has come.  

Washington is broken has become the biggest cliche in campaign advertising, yet the Democrats and Republicans who say those words on camera are more often than not playing a role in an electoral system that further entrenches dysfunction and rewards the extremes."

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Urge Senator Schumer to stand up for election reform in New York

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM

fbgraphic_blog_home.jpgOpen Primaries and the Independence Party of New York City have partnered to urge U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to play a leadership role in the growing movement to enact open primaries and empower independent voters. Senator Schumer has already stood up for this reform in the New York Times, and now we want him to do something about it. Everyone knows that New York politics is corrupt. Enacting Top Two nonpartisan primaries in New York and other states would not be a cure all, but it would give "we the people" more capacity to impact what goes on in Albany and Washington and allow independents — the fastest growing segment of the electorate — the capacity to fully participate.


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Americans are dissatisfied with government leadership

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 16, 2015 at 12:00 PM

gallupcongressapproval.jpgAmericans named "government leadership" as their top concern in Gallup's latest poll on problems facing the U.S. For the first time since Gallup began polling Americans on their biggest concerns in 2001, government — including President Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress and general political conflict — led the list. The trend of dissatisfaction with our political system among Americans has been growing since 2012. It's time we did something about it.

If we are to change the way our elected officials work for the American people, we must change how they are elected. In many partisan states, members of congress are elected in the primary, because the candidate for that party almost always wins the general election. This means most of our current members of congress were elected by a very small percentage of partisan voters who were allowed to and showed up to vote in the primary election.

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Happy Holidays from Open Primaries

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM

holidayparty5_bloghome.jpgLast week the Open Primaries team held our office warming and holiday party! Thank you to all our wonderful supporters for joining us at this very exciting event. We are very grateful for your support and are happy you agree that no American should be required to join a political party to exercise his or her right to vote. We have big plans for 2015. 

Our focus will be to grow the open primaries coalition, educate voters in all fifty states and support efforts to enact open primaries via ballot referendum and/or legislation. We face an uphill battle. Any reform that takes power away from the parties and gives it back to the people is going to be vigorously fought against by those in power. 

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Open Primaries: The Fight Goes On

Posted by Jb opdycke on November 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM


Open Primaries worked hard in Oregon to pass measure 90 — Oregon’s open primaries initiative. We came up short.

There was a lot of misinformation coming from the opposition. They tried to paint this as an initiative that would give voters less choice — the opposite of what would actually happen if all 650,000 of Oregon’s registered Independents could vote in the primaries. The opposition worked hard to instill fear in systematic change.

While 75% of Republicans and Democrats voted, only 57% of registered independents turned out on November 4th.

As a movement to shake up the status quo, the long term challenge we face is motivating voters (independents and millennials especially) who are most turned off by politics as usual to use their voice for change. The voters, not the political parties, should have the power. No American should be required to register with a party in order to exercise his or her right to vote. These are simple principles. But they represent a radical departure from politics-as-usual.

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Campaign Spotlight: Support Open Primaries in Oregon - Vote YES on Ballot Measure 90

Posted by Christina Putz on October 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM

UPDATE: Read the Press Release: Ballot Measure 90 Falls Short

Over 650,000 registered voters in Oregon are shut of voting in primary elections. That means that over 31% of all voters in the state don’t have a say in which candidates will advance to the general election.

You can do something about that. By voting YES on Ballot Measure 90 you can give everyone a say.

Replacing party primaries with open primaries will allow voters to make decisions based on a candidate’s merit and ideas, rather than their party affiliation.

Click the videos above to watch our ads in support of Measure 90.

Please vote YES on Measure 90. Use your vote to give everyone the right to vote.

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Election Panel in Mississippi Rejects Closed Primaries

Posted by Jb opdycke on October 07, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Mississippi Public Broadcasting reported that the 51 member panel charged with debating changes to Mississippi's election laws has decided against recommending a closed party primary system, and is instead supporting a Top Two system similar to Louisiana. They cited complications with asking all voters to re-register by party as the reason for rejecting a closed primary system. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Mississippi’s top elections official, said, "We didn't come with a preconceived notion, and they have narrowed the process. It'll be the open primary and tweaking what we have now, and then just a plain, completely Top-Two primary like they do in Louisiana, Washington and California."

To read the full article, click here

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