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Open Primaries in the news

Independent voters could make polling sites a nightmare

Posted by John Fernandes on April 14, 2016 at 4:37 PM


This article was written by Marisa Schultz for the New York Post.

WASHINGTON — New York election officials are bracing for a mess at the polls because they expect many Bernie Sanders voters will show up who can’t vote.

Only registered Democrats and Republicans are allowed to cast ballots Tuesday in the closed primary, but election officials have been getting an earful from independent voters peeved the deadline to change their party registration was Oct. 9 – long before the presidential election was on their radar. 

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Open Primaries President, John Opdycke on WPIX-11

Posted by John Fernandes on April 13, 2016 at 1:05 PM

This segment aired April 12th, 2016 on WPIX-11 news.


Open Primaries President John Opdycke talks about NY states exclusionary primary system on WPIX-11. Over 3 million voters will not be able to vote on primary day. There has been a bill introduced in the assembly to open up New York's closed primary but both parties oppose allowing independent voters to participate.

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Independents Make Last-Ditch Effort To Vote in NY's Primary

Posted by John Fernandes on April 12, 2016 at 5:14 PM

This article was written by Emma Whitford for Gothamist.


As the surprisingly pivotal New York presidential primary draws closer, an upswell of voters have begun to organize against the State's closed primary system, which excludes 3.2 million independent voters, or about 27% of the voting public. For comparison, there are only 2.7 million registered Republicans state-wide.

State bill introduced in late March would bust the closed primary wide open, permitting all registered New Yorkers to vote. Social media has been peppered with links to the legislation in recent days ("This is YUUUUGGGGEEE!!!"), and some have wondered if it could be passed in time for next Tuesday—a possibility that the bill's sponsor, Independent Assemblyman Fred Thiele, says is a very long shot.

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Can New York Change to an Open Primary Election

Posted by John Fernandes on April 12, 2016 at 11:57 AM

This article was written by Stephanie Dube Dwilson for

New York has a closed primary, but many voters are pushing for the state to change the primaries to being open before the April 19 Republican and Democratic primary election. Is this even possible? Voters began pushing for the change after the voter registration problems that plagued Arizona started showing up in New York. The registration problems seem especially prevalent among Bernie Sanders supporters. The problems are now being reported in other closed states across the country. Is there any chance that New York could change to an open primary to help voters who can no longer get a ballot?

Here’s what you need to know.

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Closed, partisan primaries have a huge impact on Latino political participation

Posted by John Fernandes on April 01, 2016 at 1:34 PM

This article was written by Danny Ortega and Armida Lopez for Latino Fox News.

We stand at a critical moment for the Latino community and our country. As we watch the tumult of the 2016 election season unfold, we’ve seen the Republican Party candidates demonize us in an effort to rally their base and the Democratic Party offer the same recycled platitudes from election years past. We are the fastest growing voting bloc in the country but we have yet to find our political voice. A recent poll of 1,500 Latinos across the state of Arizona found that 90 percent wanted new strategies and new ways for empowerment.

Now, more than ever, it is time to embrace making a change when Latinos are rising in numbers as a community and upping our voter registrations but our voter participation is going down. We need to create a culture of voting and it starts in the primaries and having a choice for the people.

- D. Ortega and A. Lopez



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Group launches campaign to support Amendment V

Posted by John Fernandes on March 30, 2016 at 3:42 PM

Blackhills.jpgMarch 29, 2016: South Dakotans for Non Partisan Elections has launched a campaign in support of Amendment V, to take partisan politics out of voting.Campaign field coordinator Nick Reid says there would no longer be designations of Republican or Democrat on primary ballots.

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This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for our democracy

Posted by John Fernandes on March 29, 2016 at 3:45 PM

This article was written by Bob Perls and Jeremy Gruber for

When a ship hits rough seas, it’s an “all-hands-on-deck” moment for the crew to rush to its aid and protect it. This is an “all-hands-on-deck” moment for our democracy.

Our political system is in turmoil. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are fighting to win instead of coming together to solve problems and failing to deliver government that works for the American people. Americans have lost our voice and we are angry. According to a recent poll by Gallup, we are more likely to name dysfunctional government as the most important problem facing the country than any other issue.

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South Dakota Voters Take Aim at Both Parties

Posted by John Fernandes on March 29, 2016 at 3:33 PM

This article was written by Edmund Kozak for LifeZette.lifezette_pic.PNG

A new ballot initiative seemingly born of anti-Establishment fervor in South Dakota seeks to remove political parties from the local democratic process, suggesting the current anti-Establishment revolt in both parties will have implications lasting far longer than the temporary success of Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The initiative would eliminate party labels on ballots for all federal, state and county offices, and establish open primary elections, in which the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. Only presidential election ballots would remain unaffected.

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Effort in South Dakota Aims to Drop Parties - The Wall Street Journal

Posted by John Fernandes on March 29, 2016 at 1:35 PM

This article was written by Kristina Peterson for the Wall Street Journal.


In South Dakota, where the shadow of Mount Rushmore’s presidents looms large, political parties could become nearly invisible on ballots.

The antiestablishment anger helping to propel the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders across the country is taking a different twist here: fueling support among disenchanted voters for a ballot initiative with the lofty goal of getting rid of both political parties—as much as possible, at least.

When South Dakotans turn up at the polls in November, they will be asked to decide whether to eliminate party labels next to most candidates’ names on future ballots. The amendment to the state constitution would also establish open primary elections, with the top two vote-getters from any party advancing to the general election in most races.

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