Blog - Open Primaries
Blog Background

The latest from the movement

Open Primaries: The Fight Goes On

Posted by John 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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Election Panel in Mississippi Rejects Closed Primaries

Posted by John 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

Read more

New Mexico Governor Favors Widened Voter Eligibility in Primaries

Posted by John Opdycke on October 07, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Contradicting the chairman of the state Republican Party, Gov. Susana Martinez said in August that she would support a Democratic plan allowing voters without a party affiliation to cast ballots in New Mexico primary elections.  Gov. Martinez told the Albuquerque Journal she supports the idea because it is important for all voters to be allowed to participate in primaries, and added, “Just because they don’t see themselves as completely Republican or completely a Democrat doesn’t mean that they don’t have candidates that they want to vote for, but because they haven’t declared a party aren’t able to vote at all,”

To read the full article, click here

Read more

Activist Spotlight: Professor Chuck Young

Posted by John Opdycke on September 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Chuck Young, a professor of history and political science at Umpqua Community College and founding member ofIndependent Voters of Oregon, recently wrote an op-ed  in Roseburg’s daily paper, the News-Review, outlining the reasons for his support of ballot measure 90. Young believes measure 90 would provide “a governing system that compromises as needed, that respects the good, problem-solving intentions of those Americans serving on both sides of the aisle, and that never forgets that the bottom line is to serve the people in this government of the people rather than a government of the party.”

Young reasons that blocking non-party voters from voting in primaries “has significantly contributed to our current extreme partisan politics, leading to uncompromising partisan extremism of both left and right…and brought the approval rating of Congress to the lowest levels in modern times.” Chuck is building grassroots support for measure 90 in Roseburg, via a tabling operation and by hosting educational events at his home.

To read Chuck’s op-ed, click here

Read more

Rep. John Delaney writes an Op-Ed in the Washington Post

Posted by John Opdycke on September 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Rep. John Delaney (D - MD 6th) wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, regarding his sponsorship of the Open Our Democracy Act, which would mandate open primaries for House elections, make election day the equivalent of a federal holiday and reform national redistricting. Rep. Delaney argued that now is the time for open primaries because “around the country, we select candidates using a partisan primary filter, then act surprised when the huge portion of the electorate that isn’t ideological is unhappy with its general-election options.” The Independent Voter Network, who recently interviewed Rep. Delaney, praised his efforts as “a symphony to independents’ ears and a cacophony to entrenched partisan operatives.”

To read Delaney’s editorial, click here. To read Delaney’s interview with the Independent Voter Network, click here

Read more

Editorial Board of the Portland Tribune endorsed measure 90 in Oregon

Posted by John Opdycke on September 26, 2014 at 12:00 PM

The Editorial Board of the Portland Tribune endorsed measure 90 in Oregon, calling it a "rare good-government measure in an era of special-interest politics" and arguing that in a state where half of newly registered voters refuse to register with a party, open primaries are the future. Ballot measure 90 would enact Top Two nonpartisan primaries, where all voters can vote for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation.

To read the full article, click here. To find out more about ballot measure 90 in Oregon, visit our Campaign Spotlight, or visit the Yes on 90 campaign.

Read more