Illinois needs open primary law - Open Primaries
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Illinois needs open primary law

Posted by Russell Daniels on June 10, 2019 at 6:03 PM

Illinois needs open primary law

written by Sam Cahnman for Herald & Review

Congrats to the Illinois legislature on voting to let Illinois taxpayers decide in the November 2020 election whether to amend our state constitution to allow for a progressive or graduated income tax.

The legislature also ought to let Illinois voters decide on whether they want an open primary, where voters would finally get to cast a secret ballot in the primary.

Ironically, our state constitution already mandates "secrecy of voting" (Art. II, Sec. 4), but this has never been interpreted to mean you have the right to secrecy in choosing your party when voting in the primary. Yet this is clearly what voters want. In advisory referendums in more than 20 municipalities and townships, including Decatur, voters overwhelmingly voted yes for an open primary, in some places by as high as 88%. Nevertheless, the legislature thus far has failed to enact an open primary law.

If the legislature won't vote for an open primary law, it should at least allow voters to make that call in a statewide referendum, just like they did on the progressive income tax. If you agree, tell your state legislators. May 2020 is the deadline for the legislature to put the open primary question on the November 2020 ballot. 

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