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An Intern's take on the NYC Open Primaries Rally

Posted by Adriana Espinoza on April 20, 2016 at 5:15 PM


In the wake of the 2016 Presidential Primary Election, the future of this country rests in the hands of American voters to choose our nation’s leader. As a democracy, every citizen has the constitutional right to vote in elections. This, however, is not the case in New York. New York holds closed primary presidential elections, meaning that you must be registered as either a Democrat or Republican in order to vote in the primaries at all.

As an intern for Open Primaries, I was able to join Open Primaries,, and the New York City Independence Clubs along with other concerned Americans to protest the injustice of New York’s election laws. The Rally was held at New York City Hall on Thursday, April 12th. Over 150 people turned out to demand open primaries and raise awareness of the injustices taking place within New York’s election system.

In preparation for the event, I researched statistics and data to find out who was able to vote in the New York State Presidential Primary, in addition to analysis of New York’s election laws. As a young voter, the evidence I found was startling:

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Millions of New Yorkers Barred from Today’s Pivotal Election

Posted by John Fernandes on April 20, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Today’s primary in New York was one of the most important primary elections in a generation, with more delegates at stake than any other state left to vote outside California. Yet 3.2 million registered independents were barred from participating. 

New York joins a growing list of states across the country that have failed their citizens this primary season. 33% of millennial voters, 33% of Asian voters, 20% of Latino voters and 15% of African-American voters were denied the right to vote on Tuesday. Equally egregious, Republicans and Democrats voters were not allowed the choice to vote for a candidate outside of their party. 

The disenfranchisement of New York’s independent voters likely swayed the outcome.

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Can You Make A Meme About the NY Primary?

Posted by John Fernandes on April 19, 2016 at 11:32 AM

meme.pngToday's mission at Open Primaries is to make memes in response to New York's primary elections and the extensive restrictions placed on the voters. The general attitude towards the NY primary and the unfair voter registration rules is: annoying. Why is it that in order to vote one must jump through hoops and bypass obstacles just to have a chance at voting?

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Closed, partisan primaries have a huge impact on Latino political participation

Posted by John Fernandes on April 01, 2016 at 2:02 PM

This article was written by Danny Ortega and Armida Lopez for Latino Fox News.


We stand at a critical moment for the Latino community and our country. As we watch the tumult of the 2016 election season unfold, we’ve seen the Republican Party candidates demonize us in an effort to rally their base and the Democratic Party offer the same recycled platitudes from election years past. We are the fastest growing voting bloc in the country but we have yet to find our political voice. A recent poll of 1,500 Latinos across the state of Arizona found that 90 percent wanted new strategies and new ways for empowerment.

Now, more than ever, it is time to embrace making a change when Latinos are rising in numbers as a community and upping our voter registrations but our voter participation is going down. We need to create a culture of voting and it starts in the primaries and having a choice for the people.

- D. Ortega and A. Lopez

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Effort in South Dakota Aims to Drop Parties

Posted by John Fernandes on March 29, 2016 at 9:52 AM

This article was written by Kristina Peterson for the Wall Street Journal.


In South Dakota, where the shadow of Mount Rushmore’s presidents looms large, political parties could become nearly invisible on ballots.

The antiestablishment anger helping to propel the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders across the country is taking a different twist here: fueling support among disenchanted voters for a ballot initiative with the lofty goal of getting rid of both political parties—as much as possible, at least.

When South Dakotans turn up at the polls in November, they will be asked to decide whether to eliminate party labels next to most candidates’ names on future ballots. The amendment to the state constitution would also establish open primary elections, with the top two vote-getters from any party advancing to the general election in most races.

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New Report Shows Millennial and Minority Voters Face Huge Obstacles at the Polls

Posted by Al Benninghoff on March 28, 2016 at 2:28 PM


This article was written by Celeste Katz for

Young people are far likelier to face wait times to vote than their older counterparts, and may find themselves largely locked out of primary voting because of laws limiting participation to a party system that turns millennials off, a new study finds.

New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice teamed up Craig Newmark of craigconnects and Craigslist to survey 1,006 people over the age of 18, and found that millennials face numerous obstacles to voting — and will continue to without significant reform. The Brennan Center gave Mic an exclusive first look at their analysis.

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The Poisoning of Our Politics: Partisan Elections

Posted by John Fernandes on March 08, 2016 at 10:21 AM

This article was written by Mark Funkhouser for


When Michael Bloomberg was mayor of New York City, Francis Barry was his chief speechwriter and director of public affairs, and he was deeply involved in Bloomberg’s various charter review efforts. Barry is clearly ticked that the political parties and the self-styled good government groups had defeated a proposal in 2003 to institute nonpartisan elections. He channeled that annoyance into a book. The Scandal of Reform uses New York City’s election laws and history of election reform as a starting point for a powerful, well-researched analysis that seems to me to refute every objection to nonpartisan elections.


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A Screener’s Inside Look: Arizona’s Cry for Open and Honest Elections

Posted by Kellie Ryan on February 12, 2016 at 3:34 PM

AbbyHeadshot_small.jpgOn Wednesday, February 3rd, 13,837 Independent Arizonans came together for a conversation about the state of politics in Arizona.The event was hosted by Patrick McWhortor, Campaign Director for Open Primaries AZ. 

Participants were able to interact live with panelists to learn more about the fight to open up Arizona’s elections to all. along with a panel of Arizona leaders. The panelists included: Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, Attorney and activist Danny Ortega, President of High Ground Consulting Chuck Coughlin, and President of, Jackie Salit.

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Open primaries are the way to go

Posted by Kellie Ryan on February 01, 2016 at 12:11 PM

This article was written by Bob Perls for the Albuquerque Journal

We want to congratulate the Journal for supporting open primaries. This is truly a non-partisan issue critical to enfranchising all voters.

Forty-five percent of Americans are not registered with a major party, 25 percent of New Mexicans are not and over 60 percent of registered voters under 30 are registered as independents. Insisting that New Mexicans have to a join a party to vote is unfair and violates the New Mexico Constitution.

Both major parties stand to gain much by supporting open primaries. By demonstrating that their beliefs and values can attract votes from independents, they will become stronger.

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