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."
Posted by Jesse Shayne on June 30, 2016 at 5:59 PM
For the past month, we have been staging a petition calling on the rules committees of the parties to amend the primary rules at their respective conventions next month, and adopt open primaries for all future presidential races. With just two weeks to go until the Republican Convention begins, our priority is to secure as many signatures as possible. Over 30,000 Americans, who are tired of their tax dollars funding elections in which they cannot participate, have already signed, and we are trying to reach 100,000 signatures before July 18th.
The level of support for this campaign -- and our broader movement in general -- continues to surpass our wildest expectations. Our dedicated volunteers have poured hundreds of hours into this moment. People from all walks of life -- all across the country and from every political faction imaginable -- have heard our call to arms to restore our democracy by placing the power back in the hands of the voters, and not the parties.
Posted by Jesse Shayne on June 29, 2016 at 12:38 PM
"Our primaries have been a blow to the American people. Voter purges, six month deadlines, and registration changes. What is fair about any of this? We have a right to choose whom we prefer and it shouldn’t come down to arcane rules that no one is aware of.
"I’m disillusioned by the whole process. The people’s agenda is not a priority anymore. We are run by the 1% and crony capitalists. We don’t’ care for the most vulnerable in our society. We are the richest country with the worst child poverty rates and more black people in jail than we ever had in slavery. We have water systems poisoning whole towns and yet we allow billionaires to get away with paying no taxes. It’s a disgrace."
Posted by Jesse Shayne on June 21, 2016 at 2:02 PM
"Our primaries have been a blow to the American people. Voter purges, six month deadlines, and registration changes. What is fair about any of this? We have a right to choose whom we prefer and it shouldn’t come down to arcane rules that no one is aware of."