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Open Primaries in the news

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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Bill could increase participation of voters in Nevada

Posted by jesse shayne on March 10, 2017 at 12:22 PM

This article was written by Doug Goodman for the Las Vegas Sun

On Feb. 7, Nevada state Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, introduced Senate Bill 103. If passed, Nevada would be the first state to go through the legislature, rather than a citizen initiative, to adopt a voting method that recognizes changing voter attitudes and registration trends, not only in the state but across the nation.

Currently, more than 27 percent of active registered voters in Nevada are not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties. About 21 percent are registered as nonpartisan. These numbers are 10 percent higher among those 18 to 34 years of age. Every month, these percentages increase as the voter share held by the two major political parties declines. This trend is seen across all demographics; state-wide, Clark and Washoe counties, the rural counties, among 18- to 34-year-olds, and those over the age of 55. It is visible in all 42 state assembly districts, 21 state senate districts and four congressional districts. Unless something changes, fewer voters will be making the choice for all Nevada residents.

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Under People’s Primary, Independent Voters Get a Candidate in November Too

Posted by jesse shayne on March 10, 2017 at 10:39 AM

This article was written by Kaila Cooper for IVN

A bill was recently introduced in Oregon that would reform primary elections in a whole new way. Republican state Representative Knute Buehler, of District 54, is the sponsor of bill HB-3140, also known as the People’s Primary.

The People’s Primary opens the first stage of the public election process in a way no other state does. Put simply, HB-3140 reforms the current closed primary system by adding a ballot for independent voters. Voters registered with a party can vote in their party’s primary. However, if these voters wish to opt out of participating in their party’s primary or are unaffiliated, they can participate in the People’s Primary.

Here is how it works:

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Open primaries to all voters or let the major parties fund their own

Posted by jesse shayne on March 07, 2017 at 11:46 AM

This article was written by Abraham Sanchez for

COMMENTARY: Residents of New Mexico have been deceived. Many generations of elected officials and leaders in the Land of Enchantment have circulated a traumatic falsehood. At the state, county, city and every other level we are told to marvel at the cultural diversity in our beautiful state and value the differences in our communities. Many of those leaders reflect that diversity in varying ethnicities, religions, genders and other social identities.

However, those same leaders are responsible for the undermining of genuine political diversity in our state.

For the first time in my life and for only a matter of months I was registered with a major political party last summer. This is because while paying taxes everyday to fund statewide elections in New Mexico, I am only allowed to vote in a statewide primary election if I register with a major political party. Apart from being discriminatory, this system of electing our leaders ensures we continue a dysfunctional marriage to a two-party system.

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Legislative session highlights local impacts of statewide issues

Posted by jesse shayne on March 07, 2017 at 10:28 AM

This article was written by Tia Mitchell for

TALLAHASSEE | When it comes to the legislative session that begins Tuesday, what is important in Northeast Florida often mirrors statewide priorities but with a local twist.

For example, the expansion of gambling in Florida is a high-profile topic that will need to be addressed because the state’s compact with the Seminole Indians is expiring. The Senate bill also authorizes slots in counties where voters approved referenda, including Duval, the House bill does not.

“Bestbet is hopeful that the Legislature will work to protect the jobs and economic development that have come from this successful, well-run gaming entertainment company,” company spokesman Brian Hughes said in a statement. “As that relates to adding slot machine games, the voters in Duval County clearly voiced their support.”

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Resistance Grows to End Partisan Corruption in New Jersey Elections

Posted by jesse shayne on March 07, 2017 at 10:12 AM

This article was written by Shawn M. Griffiths for IVN

There is a new movement underway in New Jersey to elect independent-minded candidates to the state legislature that will support election reform to end partisan corruption in public elections.

“The electoral process is very corrupt,” said Dana Wefer, a life-long Democrat running for New Jersey governor as a Republican. Wefer is also the founder of New Jersey Awakens, which has proposed 5 reforms to break the parties’ control over elections:

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Pennsylvania senator wants independent voters in state primaries

Posted by jesse shayne on March 02, 2017 at 10:34 AM

This article was written by Jaccii Farris

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania Sen. Lisa Boscola said state Senate leaders are drafting a voters bill of rights, a collection of bipartisan proposals that would make it easier to vote with things like no-excuse required absentee ballots, same-day registration and pre-registration of younger voters when they get their first drivers license.

Boscola said the package also addresses gerrymandering.

"Take it out of the hands of the elected officials and put it into the hands of the citizenry, like some other states have done, that promotes better government," said Boscola.

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Open primary bill moves forward in Senate

Posted by jesse shayne on February 28, 2017 at 4:48 PM

This article was written by Dan McKay for the Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – A proposal to open New Mexico’s primary elections to independent voters survived – just barely – its first challenge in the state Senate.

The bill made it out of the Senate Rules Committee on Monday without a recommendation and now heads to the Judiciary Committee, potentially its last stop before reaching the Senate floor.

But that was only after a motion to recommend passage of the bill failed on a tie vote.

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Bill to open primaries squeaks through New Mexico Senate committee

Posted by jesse shayne on February 28, 2017 at 4:43 PM

This article was written by the Santa Fe New Mexican

Legislation allowing independent voters to cast ballots in primary elections squeaked through a Senate committee on Monday.

But the Senate Rules Committee shot down proposed changes to the bill that would have allowed not just unaffiliated voters but also voters registered with the smallest political parties to participate in the Democratic and Republican primary elections.

The committee also rejected more sweeping changes proposed by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, who suggested allowing political parties to choose whether unaffiliated voters could participate in primary elections.

Ivey-Soto said requiring open or semi-open primaries would be unconstitutional and unfair.

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