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Think voting is for chumps? You might be interested in this system some states are trying out

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 09, 2015 at 10:10 AM

This article was written by Brandon Weber for Upworthy


Elections in almost all states in our country come down to primaries, where the candidate who actually makes it onto the final ticket is chosen by a small percentage of people. 

In fact, in some states, you actually have to register for a specific party in order to vote in the primaries for given candidates.

In other words, if you want to vote in the primaries for Party X, you have to be registered as a Party Xer. Even if you don't agree with them.

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The Nebraska State Legislature: A Local Perspective

Posted by Robert Moore on November 24, 2015 at 1:53 PM

Nebraska.jpgI’ve seen open primaries happen in action. And yes, they work.

As a high school student in suburban Columbus, Ohio, I was a bit of a social studies geek, and I entertained a bit of a dream of “studying abroad” in Nebraska when I was in college. This is because Nebraska is home to the only unicameral, nonpartisan legislature in the country.

Upon graduation from college, I was afforded the opportunity to move to Omaha, Nebraska to enlist for a year of national service as an AmeriCorps, VISTA volunteer. I would spend the next two and a half years in Nebraska, working in local government and then moving into the advocacy world, eventually serving as an organizer (and part-time lobbyist) for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

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‘No Party’ popular among Florida voters

Posted by Kellie Ryan on November 17, 2015 at 3:26 PM

October 31, 2015—This article was written by Paula Dockery for the Tallahassee Democrat.

Something interesting is happening with Florida voters.

More and more people are becoming unwilling to identify with either of the two major political parties and are choosing instead to register as No Party Affiliate (NPA).

One possible reason could be that the two parties are becoming increasingly extreme, rigid and fractured. Factions form within the parties and intolerance of other views become the norm.

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South Dakotans for a Nonpartisan Democracy Submit over 39,000 Signatures to South Dakota Secretary of State Krebs

Posted by Kellie Ryan on November 10, 2015 at 5:47 PM

IMG_0646.jpgNovember 9, 2015Sioux Falls, SD—South Dakotans for a Nonpartisan Democracy, made up of a broad coalition of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, submitted over 39,000signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office today to place a proposed amendment to establish nonpartisan elections on the 2016 general election ballot.

Rick Knobe, Sioux Falls radio talk show host, former Mayor of Sioux Falls, and a registered Independent serving as chair of the coalition, announced that 39,182 --10,000 more than the required 27,741--were hand-delivered to Secretary of State, Shantel Krebs, today at 2:00pm.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.


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