Posted by jesse shayne on August 11, 2016 at 2:03 PM
As an Intern with Open Primaries, I was asked to conduct research on how much closed presidential primaries cost taxpayers. This is important to know because closed primaries are paid for by all state-taxpayers, including independent voters who cannot participate in closed primary elections, yet still foot the bill for them.
Americans are fairly used to government bureaucracy and red tape making it difficult to fact-find and track down accurate information. State officials are very hesitant to make it known just how much things actually cost, particularly when it comes to taxes.
Posted by jesse shayne on August 10, 2016 at 2:18 PM
"Not too far from New York City is Indian Point Lake. It’s been contaminated by nuclear waste and none of my local officials seem to have any sense of urgency to resolve this situation."
Posted by jesse shayne on August 02, 2016 at 4:13 PM
"Indiana has open primaries and I feel pretty well represented in my state. The officials generally listen to me on all the issues I care about. Nationally, our election system needs to be revamped. We need automatic registration at age 18, paid holidays for voting days, and possibly a social media tracker to have accurate real time polling. We also need to do away with closed primaries. It is a form of voter suppression and I will not support any party or elected official that supports closed primaries."
Posted by jesse shayne on August 02, 2016 at 10:11 AM
In July, we went to the Democratic National Convention to present our resolution for open primaries, alongside our 40,000 signature petition, to the DNC Rules Committee. It was a hectic day, but we managed to stake out some time to record testimonials from delegates, protestors, and supporters of the OP movement. What we found was a group of diverse and civically impassioned Americans, some of whom traveled from across the country, to protest and participate, and to try to make the Democratic Party more responsive to the American people.
Even with a backdrop of protests and party disarray, we found a sense of unity amongst the political reformers we met at the DNC, who expressed hope and optimism that our country will move forward in the right direction. You can hear their stories and thoughts on the DNC and the open primaries movement below.
Posted by jesse shayne on August 01, 2016 at 3:01 PM
Following a contentious presidential primary cycle in which open primaries became a mainstream political issue -- with 70% of Americans favoring the cause -- we launched a national petition calling on the Republican Party and Democratic Party to open the presidential primaries in all 50 states, starting in 2020.
Posted by jesse shayne on July 28, 2016 at 4:03 PM
Something important happened on Saturday at the DNC. Months of organizing, speaking out, and raising awareness forced the Democratic Party Rules Committee to respond to a resolution for open primaries.
The voices of the 40,000 supporters who signed our petition were heard by the Democratic Party Rules Committee and its Chairman, former Congressman Barney Frank, thanks to Maggie Wunderly, a Democratic Rules Committee member from Illinois who introduced our resolution with our petition in hand (click here to watch).
Posted by jesse shayne on July 27, 2016 at 12:09 PM
“It was an honor to stand up for the 26.3 million registered voters who couldn’t vote in this presidential election. Too many were shut out, but they’ve learned how important the process is and they are paying attention. We need to throw open the doors and really be the party of the big tent; because if we shut people out we risk losing them forever.”
Posted by jesse shayne on July 20, 2016 at 3:22 PM
The Democratic and Republican Parties will soon gather in conventions to formally select their presidential nominees. They will also fight over the rules for their future nominating process. While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the presumed nominees, we shouldn’t presume anything when it comes to the rules.
At the upcoming party conventions, the rules committees and convention delegates could give every American, regardless of whether they are registered to vote in a party or not, the right to vote in the presidential primaries in 2020. Don’t forget, the taxpayers pay for these primaries, yet the parties currently exclude voters at will. Every American revolutionary believes in the principle of “no taxation without representation,” and we need to enforce that principle today.
Posted by jesse shayne on July 15, 2016 at 4:20 PM
Yesterday afternoon, Open Primaries’ Al Benninghoff delivered 33,000 signatures to the Republican Rules Committee meeting urging the party to support open primaries in 2020.
He was denied entry to the meeting but got the petition to the right people. Meanwhile, delegates associated with Ted Cruz made their case for incentivizing states that conduct closed primaries in 2020. Ultimately, the Rules Committee made a recommendation to the delegates that they not make changes to the current rules. All the organizing we’ve done to project the voice of the 70% of Americans who favor open primaries certainly had an impact.
Next stop, Philadelphia, where we will deliver our petition to the Democratic Party Rules Committee. We know that hundreds of delegates support open primaries. We know that Bernie Sanders has made it a point of negotiation with the DNC and the Clinton team. And we have activists on the ground in every state working to amplify our cause.
Here’s the challenge: We walked into the Rules Committee meeting in Cleveland with 33,000 signatures. We’d like us to walk into the Rules Committee meeting in Philadelphia with 100,000 signatures.
Posted by jesse shayne on July 05, 2016 at 1:00 PM
"How can we say we still live in a democracy when 3 million of our citizens were unable to participate in the New York primaries alone?
How is it fair that these folks' hard-earned tax dollars went to pay for the primaries, and yet they didn't get to cast a ballot? That's taxation without representation! It's undemocratic, and it goes against the founding principles of our country; principles that I signed up to defend."