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The latest from the movement

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!

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

Posted by Jb 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.  

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Faces of Open Primaries: An Independent Voter

Posted by Buz Sobel on September 02, 2015 at 2:38 PM

BuzSobel.jpgI’m an independent voter in the State of Arizona.  I recently voted early in the primary election.  I choose to be an independent because I am not a soldier for either party.  In the Arizona primary election, a registered independent must vote either on a Democratic or a Republican ballot.  This seems counter intuitive, but it is the law.  Since I generally, but not predictably, take a liberal stance, I was limited to accepting a Democratic primary ballot.  This was not a good experience.  The ballot was a page full of government offices to be voted on.  There was only one candidate listed for each office, with the exception of positions with two seats available and since you were allowed to vote for two candidates there were two listed.   There were no alternatives on the entire ballot.  Was that actually a vote I placed?

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Presidential Candidates Miss the Mark on Political Reform

Posted by Kellie Ryan on August 25, 2015 at 10:21 AM

BernieHillaryCover_blog.jpgPresidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have already made voting rights and election reform major areas of focus of their presidential campaigns. However, neither candidate has addressed that 42% of Americans, who identify as politically independent, are being disenfranchised by our current election system.

Bernie Sanders, an independent, has not even addressed that in many states the people he represents are not able to vote for him in the primary election without changing their party affiliation.

Open Primaries believes that no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote.

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Bernie Sanders Should Embrace Political Reform

Posted by Jb opdycke on August 25, 2015 at 10:06 AM

 This article was published by John Opdycke and Jessie Fields for Newsweek.

bernie.jpgYou have to hand it to Bernie Sanders. He’s defying expectations across the board. He’s giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money that few expected. He’s ahead of her in the polls in New Hampshire and showing no sign of losing momentum.

Senator Sanders is popular because he is speaking out aggressively about income inequality and a disastrous foreign policy. But his support actually grows out of a deeper discord, one that goes beyond specific issues.

He has tapped into roiling public anger at a corrupt and insulated political establishment that has acquiesced in war and greed without the consent of the governed. Sanders is popular because he is taking on a corrupt and insulated political establishment, not because he has the “correct” line on this or that issue.


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State Legislators Dislike Gridlock Too

Posted by Al Benninghoff on August 19, 2015 at 12:02 PM

NSCL_booth.jpgWe knew attending the National Conference of State Legislators was the right decision the moment Washington State Senator Joe Fain announced his support for Top Two to a room full of legislators. He encouraged them all to learn more about the issue from us, he did it completely unsolicited, and he did it simply because he saw us in the room with our promotional materials. As he spoke, I looked at my watch: we were only three hours into the first day and we had already made a huge impact. And, it only got better.

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Letter from the President: State Legislators support open, nonpartisan primaries

Posted by Jb opdycke on August 13, 2015 at 10:59 AM

NCSL_OP4.jpgLast week, Open Primaries leaders Al Benninghoff, Adriana Espinoza (NY), Patrick McWhortor (AZ) and Jason Olson (CA) spent four days at the National Conference of State Legislators talking with elected officials and their staff about the impact of “Top Two” in California. 

You might think that the NCSL would be the last place on earth to recruit and educate. After all, primary reform is fundamentally about taking power from the political parties and giving it to the people. Democratic and Republican legislators would be the last people interested in radical structural reform. 

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Top Two Brings Californians Real Choice in Congressional Elections

Posted by Griffin Kenny on August 11, 2015 at 1:32 PM

Graphic_Four2.jpgOn August 4th Open Primaries released a comprehensive report on the impact Top Two primaries have had on California and its politics.

The report found this reform led to substantial positive changes to Californian government; California’s legislature has become significantly more productive, all voters are more fairly represented, and more elected officials face competitive elections.

This rise in competitive elections has been particularly important in improving how California politics and government functions.

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