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Open Primaries in the news

Sanders faces a hard reality in New York: Some of his most ardent backers can't vote for him

Posted by John Fernandes on April 15, 2016 at 12:16 PM


This article was written by Michael A. Memoli for the Los Angeles Times.

The men and women who make up one of Bernie Sanders’ best political assets in New York are doing just about everything to help him except one: vote.

The Working Families Party, a nearly two-decade-old political force in the Empire State, has sprung into action on behalf of Sanders, the independent-turned-Democratic presidential hopeful. But only registered Democrats can vote in Tuesday's primary, shutting out the nearly 50,000 Working Families members.

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New York primaries: Advocates push to open vote to all

Posted by John Fernandes on April 14, 2016 at 5:56 PM


This article was written by Ivan Pereira for

A group of independent voters and advocates rallied on the steps of City Hall Thursday pushing for an open New York State primary.

There are about 3.2 million independent state voters who won’t be able to cast a vote in Tuesday’s primaries and John Opdycke, the president of the nonprofit Open Primaries, said it was time for everyone to have a voice.

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Obstacles to New York State Voting - Open Primaries President, John Opdycke on Bric TV

Posted by John Fernandes on April 14, 2016 at 4:58 PM


This segment was aired on BRIC TV and published April 13, 2016.

While obstacles to registration and voting get lots of attention come election season, our guests make removing those barriers a full time job. John Opdycke is the President of Open Primaries, an organization advocating for nonpartisan primary systems and we're Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs at the New York City Campaign Finance Board, Eric Friedman talk about voting in New York.

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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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