Posted by jesse shayne on October 08, 2017 at 10:30 AM
There was a critical development in the campaign for open primaries in Florida last week.
After hearing testimony from dozens of open primaries activists last spring, the Constitution Revision Commission decided to hold a hearing focused on the state’s primary system. And on Wednesday afternoon, Steve Hough, director of Florida Fair and Open Primaries, drove to the hearing, in Tallahassee, to testify and deliver copies of a 6,000-signature petition -- demanding an open primaries measure on the 2018 ballot -- to the Commission.
The Commission, which is a once-every-20-years process tasked with offering proposals for state constitutional amendments, is now contemplating what to put on the 2018 ballot. In the interim, Steve and the coalition in Florida plan to keep organizing the petition -- to add the voices of thousands more Floridians to the effort -- before the Commission makes its final decisions.
Posted by jesse shayne on September 05, 2017 at 11:56 AM
This past spring, Open Primaries partnered with local organizations Florida Fair and Open Primaries and Progress for All to urge the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) to put an open primaries measure on the ballot in 2018. The Commission held public hearings around the state; 77 primary reform advocates testified. TV stations, radio programs, and newspapers covered the story.
Now that hearings are over, local activists are encouraging the CRC to place an open primaries measure on the 2018 ballot and let the voters decide. The issue has widespread support from Florida voters, including super majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. The challenge is convincing the CRC to act!
Every Open Primaries supporter, from Maine to Alaska, can help our friends and partners in Florida. Watch this video about the Florida effort. Email this petition to your friends and family in Florida -- urge them to sign it and share it on social media.
Posted by jesse shayne on June 18, 2017 at 11:52 AM
You know you’ve made it when you become the subject of a Twitter war.
Over the weekend, DNC establishment figures took to the Twittersphere to duke it out with progressive activists over the Party’s use of closed primaries. The three-day debate was provoked by Young Turks reporter Nomiki Konst, after she tweeted a series of statements in support of open primaries. You can see part of the exchange here.
Posted by jesse shayne on May 21, 2017 at 10:34 AM
In 2016, the Republican Party of Montana and the Democratic Party of Hawaii filed legal challenges to the open primary laws in their respective states. The ninth Circuit Court ruled that neither party had provided evidence to show their rights had been abridged, and in both states the parties challenged the ruling.
After much anticipation, the Supreme Court announced that it would not hear legal challenges to Montana and Hawaii’s open primary systems. This is an important win for the open primaries movement. Had the Ninth Circuit’s decision been overturned, the Republican and Democratic Parties would have been able to use this decision as a weapon to close the primaries in in other states that conduct open elections.
Posted by jesse shayne on April 16, 2017 at 2:16 PM
Post 2016, the open primaries movement is expanding -- cultivating new coalitions and campaigns, attracting new leaders, developing new partnerships, and permeating mainstream media -- as more Americans become attuned to the impact of our rigged electoral process. Here are a few developments from March and April.
Posted by jesse shayne on February 10, 2017 at 2:17 PM
Virginia’s House of Delegates had a 100% incumbency return rate in 2015. But political insiders are never satisfied, which is why State Senators Mark Obenshain and John Cosgrove introduced legislation to further reduce electoral competition by closing Virginia’s primary and forcing Virginia voters to join a political party to vote.
But Virginians were not having it. After 1500 Open Primaries supporters throughout the state called and sent letters to their state representatives, the State Senate overwhelmingly voted down the closed primaries bill.
Steve Richardson of the Virginia Independent Voters Association, a spokesperson for the successful grassroots campaign, said “All registered voters should be free to choose among candidates for public office. Political party insiders should not be making those choices for us. We were dead set against these bills and we made our voices heard.”
Well done Virginia!
Posted by jesse shayne on December 23, 2016 at 2:56 PM
Voter Sues New York to Open Primaries:
Two weeks ago, Open Primaries Spokesperson Mark Moody defended the voting rights of 3.2 million New Yorkers -- who are locked out of the primaries -- before the New York State Supreme Court. The room was overflowing with over five dozen OP and independent voting activists -- the largest audience Judge Arthur Engoron had ever seen in his court.
Mark delivered a passionate argument for why New York’s closed primary system and change of party affiliation deadline -- the earliest in the country -- are unconstitutional.
Posted by jesse shayne on October 30, 2016 at 4:22 PM
Vote Yes on V is nearing the home stretch and they need your help. These last few days are the most crucial time for outreach, as voters finally sit down to decide which local candidates and ballot measures they should support. The campaign just received an endorsement from the Rapid City Journal and is premiering two new TV advertisements aimed at educating South Dakota voters on the benefits of public, nonpartisan primaries.
The whole country is joining in their fight because if Amendment V passes, it will send a strong message to Washington and politicians all across the country that Americans are reclaiming their democracy.
Posted by jesse shayne on October 24, 2016 at 5:24 PM
In Harvard Business School’s new report on competitiveness in the US economy, the authors identify political dysfunction as the biggest barrier to economic growth. They acknowledge the rise of independent voters and assert that the only way our economy will work for all Americans is if we enact a set of vital political reform measures, including open primaries. They conclude:
The impact of politics on our economy and our society can no longer be ignored. The system will not fix itself. Nor is hoping for better candidates a solution. Whatever candidates we elect will be trapped in a system that stands in the way of constructive progress.
This is the first time that a major power in the business world had stood up and said "we can't just be a special interest lobbying group, we have to rethink how we handle the debate."
Posted by jesse shayne on September 20, 2016 at 4:47 PM
A coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and independents have come together to enact public, nonpartisan primaries in South Dakota. Amendment V
will be on the ballot this November and the political establishment in South Dakota is up in arms. The last thing they want to see is the people come together across party lines to change the system so that the voters, not the parties, have the power.
You can help. Every dollar given to Vote Yes on V will be matched 2-to-1 by Open Primaries. Click here to donate.
Read more about the Yes on V campaign: