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Nebraska has made voting a lot better for everybody. It's a model for the country.

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 15, 2015 at 10:06 AM


This article was written by Brandon Weber for Upworthy.


The primary system we use to choose candidates in the United States is broken, but there's a proven way to make it better.

A tiny fraction of possible voters get to choose who is actually running for office. It's what happens in most state and federal elections across the country; if you're a registered Republican, you get to vote in the primaries for that party. Democrat? Same.

But what if you're among the more than 40% of voters (and half of all millennials) who are independent?

In many states, you have to actually register as a member of a party in order to vote in the primary.

If registering as a member of a party you don't necessarily agree with on many issues rubs you the wrong way, join the club.

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Constitutional Amendment Seeks To Establish Nonpartisan Elections In SD

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 11, 2015 at 3:12 PM

This piece was featured on South Dakota Public Radio.

SDPB.jpgA constitutional amendment to establish nonpartisan elections in South Dakota may be on the ballot in 2016. The amendment seeks to stop candidates from running under the title of democrat or republican.

The constitutional amendment is controversial for some Democrats and Republicans. Rick Weiland is the chair of South Dakotan’s for a Nonpartisan Democracy. He says the amendment will lead to better public policy. 

“It shouldn’t be about the wellbeing of a country based on whether or not you’re a Democrat or Republican. We’re all citizens of the greatest democracy in the world and we need to come together. There are challenges that we face as a country here in the United States and around the world—Issues that have got to be tackled. But if all we can do is stand up and beat the drum, this partisan drum, and this unwillingness to cross the isles and work together to solve these problems, we’re never going to get at them,” says Weiland.

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Think voting is for chumps? You might be interested in this system some states are trying out

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 09, 2015 at 12:59 PM


This article was written by Brandon Weber for Upworthy


Elections in almost all states in our country come down to primaries, where the candidate who actually makes it onto the final ticket is chosen by a small percentage of people. 

In fact, in some states, you actually have to register for a specific party in order to vote in the primaries for given candidates.

In other words, if you want to vote in the primaries for Party X, you have to be registered as a Party Xer. Even if you don't agree with them.

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Arizona independents are rising and demanding equality

Posted by Kellie Ryan on November 20, 2015 at 10:13 AM



This OpEd was written by Open Primaries Arizona Campaign Director Patrick McWhortor for the Arizona Capitol Times.

At last, a spotlight is on the most important group of voters in Arizona: independents.

A recent study published by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU focused on the largest group of registered voters in our state, and highlighted one essential fact – their numbers have grown from 11 percent in 1992 to 37 percent today, and they keep growing. This is consistent with national reports, which indicate 43 percent of Americans identify as independents. Voters are fleeing the parties, including a majority of new millennial voters, who refuse to join a party in the first place.

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Arizona organization fighting for non-partisan primary elections

Posted by Kellie Ryan on November 05, 2015 at 5:11 PM

This piece was written by Corbin Carson for KTAR News

PHOENIX — Political parties are using Hispanics like pawns, according to a campaigner for non-partisan primary elections.

Armida Lopez, Latino outreach coordinator for Open Primaries Arizona, said the organization wants every candidate to face every voter in their constituency.

“What we want is for every candidate, regardless of their party affiliation — if they’re red, if they’re blue, [or] independent — every candidate should have to face every voter in their constituency,” she said. “Not just their base.”

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What New Mexico politics can learn from Nebraska

Posted by Kellie Ryan on November 05, 2015 at 1:55 PM


This article was written by Bob Perls and Jeremy Gruber for

November 5, 2015—COMMENTARY: With the recent secretary of state scandal, the last gridlocked state legislative session and the low voter turnout of the recent Albuquerque city elections (8.5 percent, the lowest since 1974) it is clear that people are fed up and turned off to politics as usual. What can we do?

We need to open up the primary election system. Twenty-five percent of New Mexico’s voters are independent and they are completely shut out of the first round of voting in our state, while party voters have significantly limited choices.

When the first round of voting is restricted to narrow party bases, we get a system that prioritizes party loyalty over the public good. It is a significant contributor to the unproductive partisanship that grips our state.


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Open Primaries President on MSNBC with Melissa Harris-Perry

Posted by Kellie Ryan on November 02, 2015 at 9:57 AM

JohnMSNBC.jpgNovember 1, 2015—Open Primaries President John Opdycke appeared on MSNBC with Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss how the closed partisan primary system perpetuates dysfunction in Congress.

Lincoln Journal Star covers Open Primaries report on Nebraska election system

Posted by Kellie Ryan on October 27, 2015 at 9:55 AM


This article was written by Don Walton for the Lincoln Journal Star.

Nebraska's nonpartisan Legislature continues to attract national attention at a time when partisan battles dominate -- and sometimes even shut down -- Congress and rule other state legislatures.

The Atlantic magazine points to the Legislature's decisions this year to enact three controversial bills that might be described as progressive legislation despite the vetoes of a conservative Republican governor in "one of the nation's most conservative states."

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