Blog - Open Primaries
Blog Background

The latest from the movement

New Yorkers sign petition to open the 2016 Presidential Primary to independents

Posted by Kellie Ryan on March 24, 2015 at 4:26 PM

ENewsletterSchumerVideoCover.jpgNew Yorkers are fed up with partisan politics. This is why we decided to tell Senator Schumer that he cannot ignore the thousands of voices who have spoken out for primary reform, and must urge the New York Democratic Party to open their 2016 Presidential Primary to independent voters. We set an ambitious goal to present Senator Schumer with 7,500 + signatures by March 21st, and we're proud to say that our petition collected 7,534 signatures! We've come a long way, but we need to make our efforts known! Watch our behind the scenes video and share our success with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter!

Read more

South Carolina dismisses Greenville County Republican lawsuit to close primary elections

Posted by Kellie Ryan on March 23, 2015 at 3:54 PM

South_Carolina_Transparent.gifSince 2010, the South Carolina Greenville County Republican organization has been attempting to close the open primary system in South Carolina. The organization argued that open primaries allow non party members to choose a candidate, thus violating the organization's First Amendment right to free association. The North Carolina Republican Party withdrew from the lawsuit in 2013 before a the case went to trial.

Defendants of the open primary system, including the state of South Carolina and filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit after the state Republican Party dropped out, arguing that the fight was actually between the Greenville Country Republican organization and the North Carolina Republican Party. The lawsuit was dismissed, but the South Carolina Greenville County Republican organization appealed.


Read more

Meet the millennials working to enact open primaries in New York: Jason Martinez

Posted by Kellie Ryan on March 06, 2015 at 12:00 PM

jason_blog_home2.jpgMeet Jason Martinez, an independent activist for the Independence Party of New York City who has been braving the cold weather these past few months acquiring signatures on our petition asking Senator Charles Schumer to urge the New York Democratic Party to open the 2016 Presidential Primary to independent voters. Jason is 34 years old and was raised in the small country town of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. During his early teenage years he was relocated to Bronx, New York. He and his family have been residents of Co-op City since 1991. He was enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and resided in central Florida for most of his 20's. He is a master barber by profession, and an entrepreneur. He receives all of his motivation from his two beautiful children.

Read more

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."

Read more

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:

Read more

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


Read more

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."

Read more

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.


Read more

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.

Read more

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. 

Read more