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No hearing for primary reform

Posted by jesse shayne on March 31, 2017 at 12:59 PM

This article was published by The Record-Courier editorial board

We were disappointed to hear that a bill to open up Nevada's closed primary system probably isn't going to see the light of day this Legislative session.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said Friday that SB 103, sponsored by Minden Sen. James Settelemeyer, won't get a hearing.

Nevada's primaries are closed now, which means only members of a given party may vote for their candidates.

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Crowd comes out for 1st Florida constitution hearing at UCF

Posted by jesse shayne on March 30, 2017 at 3:32 PM

This article was written by Steven Lemongello for the Orlando Sentinel

A spirited, standing-room-only crowd came out to the University of Central Florida on Wednesday night for the first public hearing of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission in 20 years, asking almost as many questions about how the process is going to work as they did about policies they wanted changed.

The CRC, chaired by former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff, was kicking off months of such meetings around the state over the next few months, hearing from residents about issues ranging from restoring voting rights to felons to creating open primaries to the importance of home rule.

Next year, the group of 37 commissioners — including politicians, business leaders and state officials, all appointed by either the governor, the state House speaker or the state Supreme Court chief justice — will make recommendations about amendments to be placed on the ballot for voter approval.

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Should Florida Primary be open or closed?

Posted by jesse shayne on March 30, 2017 at 12:52 PM

This article was written by Dave Elias for NBC

A group known as "Progress for All" is accusing Florida of holding rigged elections.

The grassroots group wants Florida to hold open primaries. They claim millions of voters are being shut out of primary elections.

They want the state to let voters decide whether primaries should be open or closed.

In Florida, only Republicans can vote for Republicans and Democrats for Democrats in the primary. So, if you're one of the 3.5 million registered independents in Florida with no candidate running, you can't vote.

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Groups urge Constitution Revision Commission to put open primaries on 2018 ballot

Posted by jesse shayne on March 29, 2017 at 4:08 PM

This article was written by Sergio Bustos for Politico

Several groups advocating for open primaries in Florida want the Constitution Revision Commission to put an initiative on the November 2018 ballot to allow millions of independent voters to participate in primary elections.

The groups, led by New York-based Open Primaries, released a poll this week that shows almost three in four Florida voters favor open primaries in the Sunshine State. The Constitution Revision Commission is holding its first public hearing later today in Orlando.

“If the Constitution Revision Commission is listening to Florida voters, they will put a referendum on the 2018 ballot for open primaries,” said John Opdycke, president of Open Primaries. “The big question is will they listen. There is a growing sense among voters in Florida and across the country that no one is really listening.”

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Poll shows support for open primary elections in Florida

Posted by jesse shayne on March 29, 2017 at 12:34 PM

This article was written by Mitch Perry for Florida Politics

A majority of Florida voters believe open primaries in elections is a good idea.

Robopolling released Tuesday from a coalition of groups that advocate creating an open primary system in Florida found strong support from voters having such an initiative on the ballot next year.

The survey was conducted on behalf of three groups seeking an open primary system in Florida: Open Primaries, Tim Canova‘s Progress For All and Florida Fair and Open Primaries. It found 73 percent of respondents saying taxpayer-funded primaries should be open to all voters. Also, 72 percent support a ballot initiative to restore voting rights to individuals who have completed their sentences for nonviolent criminal offenses.

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Poll: 74% of Floridians think independents should vote in party primaries

Posted by jesse shayne on March 29, 2017 at 12:25 PM

This article was written by Adam C. Smith for the Tampa Bay Times

A newly released robo poll by funded by several election reform groups found that nearly three in four Floridians, 74 percent, think independent voters should be allowed to vote in the primary elections. Voters not affiliated with a political party account for about 27 percent of the Florida electorate, but are currently barred from participating in taxpayer funded primary elections.

“If the Constitution Revision Commission is listening to Florida voters, they will put a referendum on the 2018 ballot for open primaries. The big question is will they listen. There is a growing sense among voters in Florida and across the country that no one is really listening,” said John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries.

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We must change the way we select, district and finance candidates

Posted by jesse shayne on March 14, 2017 at 5:25 PM

This article was written by New Mexico Open Primaries Founder Bob Perls

Our Legislature once again ignored the deep anger and seething resentment out here in the real world felt toward our political institutions. There is a revolution going on in case anyone missed the Sanders and Trump supporters both pushing against the insiders of their parties.

Yet, when it comes to passing important “process” reforms that could make the Legislature actually function and move New Mexico forward, too many incumbents voted “no.” I can tell you that incumbents blocking important reforms like open primaries, free and fair ballot access for all candidates, independent redistricting commissions and ethics commissions and do so at their own peril. Their tenure in office will be short.

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OP President John Opdycke on Out of the Box Podcast

Posted by jesse shayne on March 14, 2017 at 10:48 AM

Comedian Rosie Tran interviews Open Primaries President John Opdyke. John talks about how the current political system needs reform to avoid corruption in elections and how the current primary system favors the political parties and not the people. 

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Committee tables bill to open primary elections

Posted by jesse shayne on March 13, 2017 at 10:10 AM

This article was written by Andrew Oxford for the Santa Fe New Mexican

If last year’s presidential election showed Americans’ deep frustrations with the political establishment, New Mexico’s Bob Perls says neither major party seems to have learned any lessons.

He watched over the weekend as a committee of the state House of Representatives rejected House Bill 206, which would have allowed New Mexico’s growing ranks of independent voters to cast ballots in major-party primary elections.

The 9-4 vote by the House Judiciary Committee quashed the latest effort to end New Mexico’s closed primary elections, a system that Perls and other critics say makes elections less competitive.

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Op-Ed: How a too-strong presidency and a too-weak Congress are destroying the American experiment

Posted by jesse shayne on March 10, 2017 at 1:43 PM

This article was written by Lee Drutman for the Los Angeles Times

The United States is a divided nation: There is Redland, where Donald Drumpf won among exurban non-college educated whites, and Blueland, home to diverse city and coastal cosmopolitans, where Hillary Clinton triumphed. Voters in these two lands have fundamentally different views about what it means to be an American, and they increasingly view their fellow citizens as enemies.

Our political system, which requires compromise and collaboration, is not set up to handle such profound differences. Worse, our current political rules are exacerbating and reinforcing them.

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