Kellie Ryan at Open Primaries
Blog Background

Kellie Ryan's bio: Communications Director @OpenPrimaryUSA. Digital communications, content strategy and multimedia. Politics. Travel. Photography. Red Sox fan. BAN ORANGES.
Website: http://t.co/MQZF2zpws4

  • published 2015 in History 2015-06-08 17:25:34 -0400
  • 2015

    Count My Vote legislation in Utah faces opposition from the Republican Party as they try to stall implementation.

    A group of State Senators sponsor SB 1066, a bill that establishes a closed GOP Presidential Primary in Idaho for March 2016. The bill is an attempt to boost participation from the current caucus system by implementing a closed primary using $2 million of taxpayer dollars.

    State Senator Chris McDaniel introduces a bill in an attempt to close Mississippi primaries. The bill is strongly opposed and eventually dies in committee.

    Mississippi Secretary of State’s Committee to Review Election Laws recommends a move to nonpartisan, Top Two primaries in Mississippi.

    State Senator Dave Holt introduces a bill in the Oklahoma State Legislature to bring nonpartisan, Top Two Primaries to his state.

    State Rep. Max Gruenberg introduces HB 17 to the Alaska State Legislature, his third attempt to bring nonpartisan, Top Two to state primaries.

    State Rep. Mike Fortner introduces HB 2719 to the Illinois General Assembly, calling for a nonpartisan, Top Two primary.

    U.S. Representative John Delaney reintroduces the Open Our Democracy Act, which calls for the use of nonpartisan primaries for all congressional races.

  • published 2014 in History 2015-06-08 17:25:22 -0400
  • 2014

    Oregon voters reject Measure 90, a nonpartisan, Top Two ballot measure, by a 36% margin.

    The EndPartisanship.org coalition, founded by the Independent Voter Project and Independentvoting.org, file a federal lawsuit challenging the taxpayer funding of closed primary elections. The New Jersey constitution states that public funds should not be expended on the activities of private organizations.

    Montana GOP files suit to close primaries in the state.

    Congressman John Delaney of Maryland sponsors the Open Our Democracy Act in the House. The bill includes a measure to bring nonpartisan, Top Two primaries to every congressional race in every state. The bill dies in committee.

    Utah introduces and passes SB54, Count My Vote, to open the state’s dual primary/caucus system.  

    After a contentious Senate race in which Incumbent Republican Thad Cochran mobilized African American voters to defeat Tea Party hopeful Chris McDaniel in the GOP Primary, Mississippi Secretary of State Hosemann commissions a study to explore improving the state’s election system. 

  • published 2013 in History 2015-06-08 17:25:00 -0400
  • 2013

    The Democratic Party of Hawaii challenges the state’s open primary as a violation of their First Amendment right to free association because all voters -- regardless of political party -- can participate in choosing the party's candidates for general elections. The party argues that only voters who affiliate with the Democratic Party before primaries should be able to participate.  U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright issues a written order that concludes the party failed to show the open primary is a "severe burden" on its free association rights and made assumptions about voter behavior without presenting evidence.  Hawaii’s open primary system is upheld as constitutional.  

  • published 2012 in History 2015-06-08 17:24:47 -0400
  • 2012

    In Arizona, a coalition of Independents, Democrats, and Republicans join forces to support Proposition 121, a nonpartisan, Top Two open primary measure. Though supported by the Arizona Republic, Prop 121 is tied up in court by a frivolous lawsuit, opposed by both parties, the League of Women Voters and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and loses 66% to 33%.

    California holds its first primary election under the new nonpartisan primary system.

  • published 2008 in History 2015-06-08 17:14:18 -0400
  • 2008

    In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Washington State’s nonpartisan, Top Two primary system. Washington holds its first primary election under the nonpartisan, Top Two system.

    In Oregon, Top Two open primaries fails at the ballot box. Led by former Secretaries of State Phil Keisling and Norma Paulus, Proposition 65 is opposed by both major political parties and the public sector unions and fails to pass.  

    In Idaho, the Republican Party files suit to compel the state to enact closed primaries and partisan voter registration. Independentvoting.org intervenes on behalf of a group of Idaho independents.

  • Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 05, 2015
     
    CONTACT
    Kellie Ryan
    Communications Director
    (646) 205-0293

     

    Benefits of Open Our Democracy Act:

    • Allows all voters to cast a ballot in the primary for the candidate of their choice
    • Provides for a vote on a non-partisan plan to reform the redistricting process through the creation of independent redistricting commissions
    • Increases voter participation by treating Election Day as a federal holiday

    New York, NY – June 05, 2015 – Open Primaries, a national political reform organization, announced today its partnership with Congressman John Delaney (MD-6) in reintroducing the Open Our Democracy Act, an election reform legislation allowing Congress to accurately reflect the interests of the American people. The bill targets three elements that are feeding polarization and gridlock in Congress: closed primary elections, gerrymandered Congressional districts, and low voter turnout.

  • published 2011 in History 2015-06-03 17:40:15 -0400
  • 2011

    In Kentucky, Independent Kentucky Founder Michael Lewis organizes Rep. Jimmy Higdon to introduce open primaries legislation. Lewis’s lobbying efforts receive national media attention. The bill passes the Senate but loses in the Assembly.

    After three years of litigation, the US District Court of Idaho rules that the Idaho GOP has the right to close their primaries.

  • Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    June 1, 2015

     

    CONTACT  
    Kellie Ryan
    (646) 205-0293
    kryan@openprimaries.org

     

    • 72 percent of voters polled think Mississippi needs a more fair election system.
    • 94 percent of Mississippians surveyed believe voters need to have as much or more power as political parties.
    • 85 percent of voters polled think a nonpartisan system will force politicians to represent the people and not the parties.
    • 86 percent believe closed primaries would be a step backwards for the state.  
  • Open Primaries in the news

    This article was published by the Mississippi Sun Herald.

    A poll by Open Primaries, a national organization that supports nonpartisan elections, says 85 percent of primary voters favor nonpartisan primaries.

    According to the poll released by Open Primaries on Monday, 88 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats agreed with the statement, "A nonpartisan system would force politicans to represent people, not parities."

  • The Latest from the Movement

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    This article was published by The San Francisco Chronicle and written be editorial page editor John Diaz.

    A quiet revolution is occurring in California politics. Centrist Democrat Steve Glazer’s victory over more doctrinaire Democrat Susan Bonilla in a special election for a state Senate seat in the East Bay is just the latest, and perhaps most profound, evidence that publicemployee unions are losing their control over the California Legislature.

    The unions clearly overplayed their hand in trying to vilify Glazer, a longtime Democrat who has served as a close adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, as an enemy of working people. In truth, Glazer was yet another in a series of Bay Area Democrats who largely follow the party line, but would be willing to challenge its orthodoxy on issues such as education and pension reform.

  • The Latest from the Movement

    OPpenncoverphoto.jpgMay 19, 2015 is primary day in Pennsylvania, but more than ONE MILLION independent voters are barred from participating in today's election. That's because Pennsylvania uses a closed primary system, meaning only those registered with the two major parties are permitted to vote in the primary elections.

    Because of partisanship and gerrymandered districts, most elections are decided in the primary, AND these elections are paid for using taxpayer funds! This is unfair and undemocratic! Share this video and sign up to get involved to help us open the primaries in Pennsylvania.

  • Open Primaries in the news

     This article was originally published by the Indianapolis Recorder.

  • published Meet our fundraising team! in Blog 2015-04-17 15:26:21 -0400
  • The Latest from the Movement

    JohnandFundraisers_home.jpg

    The Open Primaries team has been hard at work, going door to door in California, fundraising for the movement. Our fundraising team has recruited more than 100 donors to our organization, and we could not be more excited about the passion we are seeing from California residents for the Top Two primary system. Our fundraisers are kicking but, and we wanted to introduce them to you.

    (From left to right)

  • published Keep Montana's primaries open! in Blog 2015-04-17 15:21:55 -0400
  • The Latest from the Movement

    openprimariesMontanaCover.jpgThere is a major fight happening over how primary elections are conducted in Montana. The Montana Republican Party has voted overwhelmingly to join a lawsuit to close Montana's primaries and take away independent voters' right to vote. Montana has had an open primary system since 1912.

    One Montana Republican, State Representative Steve Fitzpatrick wants to protect the current open primary system and allow all voters a chance to have a say in the primary without needing to declare a political party preference. He has filed a bill (HB 454) which would nullify the easiest claim made by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Fitzpatrick has said that he introduced this bill to protect open primaries in Montana.

  • Open Primaries in the news

    This oped was published in the Albany Times Union.

    Last July, Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote an editorial for The New York Times advocating for sweeping reform of the primary system. "For those of us who are in despair over partisanship and polarization in Congress, reform of the primary system is a start." It's more than a start. There are 2.9 million independent voters in New York whose voices are left out of an important part of the democratic process — vetting candidates for the general election. 

    It's more than a start. There are 2.9 million independent voters in New York whose voices are left out of an important part of the democratic process — vetting candidates for the general election. Reformers recognize that our current electoral system is out of sync with the country.

  • The Latest from the Movement

    ENewsletterSchumerVideoCover.jpgNew Yorkers are fed up with partisan politics. This is why we decided to tell Senator Schumer that he cannot ignore the thousands of voices who have spoken out for primary reform, and must urge the New York Democratic Party to open their 2016 Presidential Primary to independent voters. We set an ambitious goal to present Senator Schumer with 7,500 + signatures by March 21st, and we're proud to say that our petition collected 7,534 signatures! We've come a long way, but we need to make our efforts known! Watch our behind the scenes video and share our success with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter!

  • Open Primaries in the news

    This article was originally published in FiveThirtyEightPolitics.

    Central Washington’s sleepy Yakima Valley, perhaps best known as the nation’s top producer of hops and apples, is a safely Republican region. But it may have also quietly produced the most intriguing election outcome of 2014.

    Central Washington’s sleepy Yakima Valley, perhaps best known as the nation’s top producer of hops and apples, is a safely Republican region. But it may have also quietly produced the most intriguing election outcome of 2014.

  • Open Primaries in the news

    This article was originally published by the Independent Voter Network.

    I was impressed to find such a far-reaching conglomerate of individuals at the National Conference of Independents in New York City, which took place during the weekend of March 13-15. Illinois, California, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Virginia, Oregon, Mississippi, Colorado, Kentucky, New York, Arizona, and the list could go on and on.

    I was impressed to find such a far-reaching conglomerate of individuals at the National Conference of Independents in New York City, which took place during the weekend of March 13-15. Illinois, California, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Virginia, Oregon, Mississippi, Colorado, Kentucky, New York, Arizona, and the list could go on and on.

  • published Ballot Measure 90 Falls Short in Press Releases 2015-04-03 15:53:29 -0400
  • Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    November 17, 2014

     

    CONTACT  
    Kellie Ryan
    (646) 205-0293
    kryan@openprimaries.org

     

    Ballot Measure 90, the Oregon open primaries initiative, was rejected by Oregon voters on Tuesday. "Open Primaries was founded with a long term vision and a recognition that we need to build, brick by brick, a new reform coalition," said John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries. "We ran a campaign to mobilize younger voters and independents, but this was an extremely partisan, low turnout election year, and we were not able to break through." 

     

  • Press Releases

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 1, 2014

     

    CONTACT  
    Kellie Ryan
    (646) 205-0293
    kryan@openprimaries.org

     

    Open Primaries Inc., a new national 501 (c) (4) nonprofit political reform organization, opened its doors on September 4, 2014. The organization is being led by independent activist John Opdycke and was launched with support from philanthropists Laura and John Arnold. The mission of Open Primaries is to advocate for open and nonpartisan primary systems, educate the public about the benefits of open primaries, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions.

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