Blog - Open Primaries
Blog Background

The latest from the movement

It's Our Election, Not Theirs

Posted by Patrick McWhortor on November 10, 2015 at 2:23 PM

When our country was founded, the American Revolutionaries rallied around one principle: the people should rule, not the kings.

IVoted.jpgTo that end, the concept of an election was the essential building block of American democracy, setting us apart from Europe.This idea, that people should hold elections to decide who governs, has been a beacon to revolutionaries across the world who have pursued democratic reforms since 1776.


Read more

Open Primaries Endorsed by Student Political Action Club at NYU

Posted by Adriana Espinoza on October 23, 2015 at 11:38 AM

nyu.jpgOn September 30th, Open Primaries went to NYU to present a case for nonpartisan top two primary reform to the members of the Student Political Action Club or S-PAC.

We were invited by the group’s President, Akbar Hassonjee. S-PAC is a nonpartisan student-led public policy reform group that was formed to promote open discussion of policy and encourage student political activism. Their motto—where student vision comes before any party or creed—fits in perfectly with the mission of open primaries.

Read more

Paul Ryan changes stance on immigration reform to win support for House Speaker

Posted by Kellie Ryan on October 21, 2015 at 3:06 PM

paulryan.jpgPaul Ryan could be the next Speaker of the House. But, before he will consider taking on the role, he has laid out a few requirements—the first and foremost being that ALL Republicans must give him their unwavering support. According to the National Review, "He wants the bickering to end." 

In order to ensure this devotion (and likely to appease the Tea Party), Ryan has "hinted strongly that he will not bring an immigration bill to the House floor."

Yes, you read that right.

Read more

Nebraska: a model of bipartisanship

Posted by Russell Daniels on October 14, 2015 at 2:23 PM

colbycoashquote.jpgNebraska has a state legislature that is 71% republican. What does that mean to you? That kind of figure would usually imply a lot of things. It's a red state. Conservative values are upheld and republicans call the shots. But that is not what's going on in Nebraska. Nebraska's state legislature can serve as a real example and model of democracy and political innovation. This is a positive example of how a state legislature can be effective.  Real, tough conversations can be had without the whole system shutting down over partisanship. It breaks down the simple, archaic notion of "red states" vs. "blue states," because in Nebraska real stuff is getting done. 

Read more

Is Michigan looking to Nebraska for reform?

Posted by Al Benninghoff on September 18, 2015 at 12:00 PM

martinhowrylak.jpgMichigan State Representative Martin Howrylak is frustrated. He keeps having to go back to his constituents to explain why the legislature can’t pass commonsense legislation: politics keeps getting in the way.

But now, he’s doing something about it. He’s proposing legislation which would not only combine both the House and Senate into one body of 110 members, but it would also enact nonpartisan elections for state offices in Michigan; a system similar to Nebraska’s nonpartisan, unicameral legislature.

And, he’s getting more support than he anticipated.

Read more

Rand Paul pays for his Cake…

Posted by Russell Daniels on September 16, 2015 at 12:59 PM


Senator Rand Paul just paid a lot of money to change election law in Kentucky. People throw around the phrase “buying an election” a lot but never has a phrase been more appropriate. Paul wants to be able to run for President and also keep his Senate seat. Under Kentucky law that wasn’t allowed, so Paul decided he would pay a lot of money to change the rules. Kentucky is switching over from the primary system to a caucus. The senator has already paid $250,000 and has promised at least another $200,000 to the Kentucky GOP.


Read more

My Open Primaries Story

Posted by Zach Handler on September 16, 2015 at 12:37 PM

zach_handler.jpgEver since I was a teenager, I was very passionate about politics and I have always identified as progressive. Moreover, I always had thought the best way to express that was by supporting Democratic candidates. As a high school student, I told the field director of a campaign for a Democratic U.S. Senator that I was in college so that I could work as an intern.

After graduation, I even took a semester off before college to work for an organization that was supporting Democratic candidates. I was disgusted by the policies and rhetoric of my U.S. Congressman Todd Akin (you know—this guy), George W. Bush, and other conservatives. I felt the best way to fight them was to support the other team.  Go Democrats!

Read more

Letter From The President: The Connection Between Open Primaries and the Trump and Sanders Surge

Posted by John Opdycke on September 15, 2015 at 10:42 AM

john_headshot_newsletter.jpgPeople ask me all the time “what’s the connection between open primaries and the Trump and Sanders surge?

My answer - “Everything and Nothing” - often times infuriates my questioners. But I stick by my answer. Because the world we live in is not so cut and dry anymore.  

Everything. The American people are angry. You don’t need a crystal ball to see that. We’ve been lied to repeatedly by leaders from both political parties who excel at "divide and conquer" politics, led into unsupportable wars, seen our tax dollars wasted, problems fester, and our human potential undeveloped.

Trump and Sanders tap into that anger. Open primaries is not “tapping” - we are “movement building” to enact structural change to the system itself so that voters can express their anger in new and more developmental ways.  

Read more