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10 Nonpartisan Organizations to Watch in 2020

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 16, 2019 at 1:55 PM

There are hundreds, literally hundreds of organizations and individual campaigns working right now to fix the myriad of problems that face our political and electoral processes — from the local to the national levels. The organizations tackle voter rights, primary election reform, ballot access, gerrymandering reform, campaign finance reform, alternative voting methods, electing candidates outside the two major parties, and more.

The following are 10 of the biggest organizations working to reform elections and give voters more choice at the ballot box in 2020:

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Proposed constitutional amendment would set up jungle primaries in Florida

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 16, 2019 at 1:49 PM

A pair of proposals from the All Voters Vote (AVV) committee would open up Florida’s primary elections to all voters, even those not affiliated with a political party, by setting up a jungle primary system starting in 2024.

The campaign was first reported in Wednesday’s edition of Sunburn.

“Florida’s current system of excluding the vast majority of voters from participating in most important elections is just wrong,” said Eugene Stearns, founding partner of Stearns Weaver Miller. Stearns is one of several people hoping to spearhead the effort.

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Will 2020 be the year that Florida voters reject partisan primaries?

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 16, 2019 at 1:43 PM

Some of Miami’s biggest political boosters are resurrecting a failed ballot initiative to completely overhaul Florida’s primary elections, saying the financial support that eluded them four years ago has come around.

Just as they did in 2015, the non-profit All Voters Vote on Tuesday submitted petition forms to the Florida Secretary of State for review, reigniting an effort to bring “jungle primaries” to Florida and open the August elections to all of the state’s 13 million voters.

The organization could start collecting the first of some 766,000 signed petitions as soon as next week in order to force two constitutional amendments onto the 2020 ballot, one related to state campaigns and another for federal.

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Oregon’s primary elections should be open to all

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 16, 2019 at 1:37 PM

Non-affiliated voters, the fastest growing group of registered voters in Oregon, are afforded second-class status. We cannot vote in the major-party primaries, often times the only competitive race.

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson correctly recognizes this problem. I applaud him for speaking out. But his separate-but-equal solution, a non-affiliated voter-only primary, misses the mark.

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Michigan Voted to End Partisan Gerrymandering; Are Partisan Primaries Next?

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 16, 2019 at 1:29 PM

As a business owner and lifelong resident of Michigan, I am proud to have stood with so many of my fellow citizens soliciting signatures for days and weeks on end to get the “Nonpartisan Redistricting” and “Promote the Vote” initiatives on the ballot and successfully passed in the 2018 midterm election. They were a big win for Michigan democracy and important steps on a journey to a more representative government.

Yet, there remains a large obstruction in our path to achieving a healthy, functioning government in Michigan.

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It's time to change the way Florida votes

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 16, 2019 at 12:54 PM

You said no to gerrymandering. You legalized medical marijuana. You restored voting rights for ex-felons.

Up next: Floridians may have the chance to reform the way the entire state votes.

I say: Bring … it … on.

A campaign is quietly taking shape — one involving hundreds of thousands of dollars from bipartisan sources — to end Florida’s closed primary system.

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Open primaries: An idea whose time is long overdue

Posted by Russell Daniels on March 13, 2019 at 11:50 AM

TALLAHASSEE — You, the people of Florida, spoke loudly and clearly.

You said you wanted more of a say in choosing your elected leaders in open primaries, where a lot more voters could influence state elections.

That was 21 years ago.

It was 1998 when nearly two-thirds of voters (64 percent) passed Amendment 11, which unlocked the state’s system of closed primaries to allow all voters to cast a ballot in a primary if only one party offered candidates. The amendment passed in 53 counties — in Broward, it got 71 percent of the vote.

 

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Democrats' reforms don't go far enough for African Americans

Posted by Russell Daniels on January 07, 2019 at 1:16 PM

As Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised, the first piece of legislation in the 116th Congress was House Resolution 1, which includes a package of voting reforms.

It’s a smart move for the speaker. She recognizes the public appetite for reforming our broken political system. The American people have moved “unrigging the system” to the center of the political conversation and Congress has promised to respond. This is positive.

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A 50 state open primary in 2020 is within our reach

Posted by Russell Daniels on January 07, 2019 at 1:08 PM

The 2020 presidential race has begun. Early speculation is that 20 Democrats may throw their hat in the ring and that John Kasich may challenge President Trump as an independent or in the GOP primary. The narrative will undoubtedly twist and turn between now and the New Hampshire primaries, just 12 months away.

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John Opdycke on Fox and Friends

Posted by Russell Daniels on November 01, 2018 at 3:16 PM

President of Open Primaries, John Opdycke made an appearance on Fox and Friends to talk about what Independents are looking for in the 2018 midterms.

 

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