Newsletter - Open Primaries
Blog Background


Posted by jesse shayne on July 20, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Open Primaries

Hotlist, Volume 4 

Thank you so much for signing the petition to open the presidential primaries. With just four days left to go on our campaign, every signature matters if we are going to to have a real impact at the Democratic Convention.

Democratic National Convention

We’re headed to the DNC on Saturday to deliver our petition to the Democratic Rules Committee. Here’s the challenge: We walked into the Rules Committee meeting in Cleveland with 33,000 signatures. We’d like us to walk into the Rules Committee meeting in Philadelphia with 100,000 signatures. Right now we have about 37,000 signatures.

If everyone who signed our petition shares it with just two friends, we can make our benchmark of 100k.

So here’s our plan for the DNC: We are in contact with numerous Democratic delegates who support our issue and are willing to work with us to make an impact at the Convention. We are also in contact with delegates on the Rules Committee who support our cause.

Rumour has it that Bernie Sanders is telling his 1,900-some-odd delegates to vote for open primaries. We are organizing to unite as many delegates and supporters around our cause as we can possibly find, and we intend to mobilize our network at the Convention, make a press splash, and make our presence known.

We were also selected to participate in American Experiments on Monday, a competition between six of the most innovative civic tech and political reform organizations in the country, where we will state our case for open primaries. As the only participant that is focused on systematically altering our political system, rather than making the current one more accessible to voters, we’re excited to engage with the 17 other attendees.

Republican National Convention

We delivered our petition for open primaries to the GOP Rules Committee at the Republican National Convention last week. We were denied entry to the meeting, but we still managed to get the petition into the hands of the right people -- those who make the rules for Republican elections.

Meanwhile, the Cruz delegate contingency pressured the Rules Committee to close the first four open GOP presidential primaries as part of its effort to strike a deal and avoid a contested nomination of Donald Trump. However, the Rules Committee refused to concede to the Cruz supporters’ demands, and they made a recommendation to the delegates that they not make changes to the current rules.

This was a big win given the rumours going into the RNC, and while we can’t claim credit for deterring the Cruz apparatus, we can safely say that we made our presence and that of the 33,000+ petition signers impacted.

Here’s the full scoop on what happened, and coverage on our efforts by The Blaze.

State Roundup

  • South Dakota: The Vote Yes on V campaign is making serious progress. Their efforts for primary reform have rallied a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents around a ballot measure that would introduce nonpartisan open primaries in South Dakota; and they continue to accumulate endorsements from party insiders and current-and-past elected officials of all political leanings. Their vibrant young staff is busy knocking on doors across the state.
  • Colorado: The Let Colorado Vote campaign has a dynamic new website to bolster its organizing efforts in the Centennial State. They are gathering signatures to place two ballot measures on the Colorado general election ballot this fall: one that would open federal/state primary elections to all voters, and another that would open the presidential primary there.

In Case You Missed It

  • A volunteer got an op-ed published in the Gotham Gazette, where he compares his experiences growing up in Soviet-era Ukraine to New York’s closed primary -- a must read. And the Gotham Gazette also published a report on the cost of closed primaries in New York, based on our research.
  • Our good friends and fellow reform-minded activists, Independent Voter Network, published a profile on our organization and our recent campaign.
  • A video of one of our best volunteers and why he has dedicated so much of his time to our mission:

Be the first to comment