Let Colorado Vote, led by Colorado business leader Kent Thiry, gathered over 300,000 signatures to place two ballot measures on the 2016 ballot, both of which passed. Proposition 107 will bring back the Colorado presidential primary and allow independent voters to participate, and Proposition 108 will make statewide (taxpayer-funded) primaries open to all voters.
In 2016, Open Primaries supported a ballot referendum campaign in South Dakota -- Vote Yes on V -- to enact a nonpartisan public primary system. The campaign gathered thousands of signatures to successfully secure a line on the general election ballot; it had the support of a diverse group of South Dakota political leaders -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents, from East River and West River -- responding to the national anger of an election system rigged against the voters. Open Primaries worked with local leadership to support the campaign.
Presidential Primary Petition
Following a contentious presidential primary cycle in which open primaries became a mainstream political issue -- with 70% of Americans favoring the cause -- we launched a national petition calling on the Republican Party and Democratic Party to open the presidential primaries in all 50 states, starting in 2020.
Over 40,000 voters from all 50 states signed the petition and we submitted a resolution to a vote at the DNC Rules Committee meeting. Although the resolution did not pass, it was historic in that it was the first time that either major party ever considered such a measure, and it forced the DNC to establish a commission to study and develop the issue.
In 2015-16, Open Primaries partnered with former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson on a campaign to place a nonpartisan primaries referendum on the 2016 ballot. Although the campaign ultimately failed to to get a measure on the ballot, it did make strides in assembling a strong coalition of independent activists, elected officials, business leaders and Latino activists from across the political spectrum.
In July, 2014, Senator Chuck Schumer wrote an editorial in the New York Times advocating for open, nonpartisan primaries. The Independence Party of New York City and Open Primaries partnered on a petition campaign to open the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary to independent voters.
Our petition, which received over 7,000 signatures, asks Senator Schumer to urge the New York Democratic Party to open their 2016 Presidential Primary.
In 2014 Open Primaries worked with the Yes on 90 coalition to advocate for Measure 90 in Oregon, which if passed would change Oregon’s closed primary system to a Top Two, nonpartisan primary.
The measure was rejected by Oregon voters in November 2014. Open Primaries president John Opdycke said,
“I congratulate the Yes on 90 coalition for their hard work. The inclusion of all voters in the process remains our national focus, and this is strongly resisted by the political parties.”