Open Primaries Newsletter (January 2019) - Open Primaries
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Open Primaries Newsletter (January 2019)

Posted by Russell Daniels on April 01, 2019 at 4:31 PM

It's been a busy month for Open Primaries.  Here's what's going on around the country:

  • This week Open Primaries and Florida Fair and Open Primaries released a survey of Florida voters and its findings might be shocking to the politicians, parties and pundits that keep declaring that our country is dissolving into tribalism. The survey revealed broad support-from Democrats, Republicans and independents- for inclusive and cross partisan political leadership and reform of our “rigged” election system.

Key Findings:

  • 93% of voters want their elected officials to put the interests of voters ahead of the interests of their own political party.  
  • 91% of voters want their elected leaders to bring opposing interests together to create good policies and 83% of them want their elected officials to champion reforms that give more power to the voters.  
  • 70% of voters-including supermajorities of Republican, Democrat and independent voters-want the Republican and Democratic parties to open their presidential primaries to independent voters and
  • 64% support a move to “top two” primaries for state and federal office.  
  • For more information about the survey, see: https://www.openprimaries.org/fl_poll_2019

 Back in November, the Open Primaries Education Fund filed a landmark lawsuit challenging New Mexico’s use of tax dollars to conduct closed primary elections. If successful, we will end “taxation without representation” in New Mexico and force open the primaries to all voters.  The case will also have an ongoing impact on how other states hold their primaries. Since filing, open primaries have been a hot topic across the state. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, while opposing our suit, has championed legislation to open the primaries in direct response to it. And other leaders in the state are paying attention. Former State Attorney General Paul Bardacke, our local partner in the suit, went on record saying that closed primaries are:


  • The Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill to allow the Baltimore City Council to establish open primaries and ranked choice voting. Del Brooke Lierman's (D) bill would make it possible for the council to hold open primaries for the offices of mayor, City Council president, and City Council comptroller in the city of Baltimore. Open Primaries SVP Jeremy Gruber testified this week in support, declaring:

There are more unaffiliated voters in the city of Baltimore than Republicans, Greens and Libertarians combined and they can’t vote in primary elections...Baltimore is on the wrong side of a historic shift in voter political affiliation in the U.S.


  • Open Primaries Board Member and Spokesperson, Dr. Jessie Fields' op-ed, Democrats Reforms Don't Go Far Enough for African Americans, was featured recently in The Hill. Fields piece makes the case that more and more African American voters are opting out of the two major parties and closed primaries are locking out many of these voters:

30 percent of African-American voters are registered as independents.  If the 2020 presidential primaries were held today, these voters would be turned away at the polls in many states not because they lack identification but because of their registration. This form of voter suppression is so enormous, and so bipartisan, that it is often ignored."

Thanks,

Jeremy Gruber

Senior VP , Open Primaries, Inc.


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