Ballot Measure 2 passed and Alaska joined California, Washington and Nebraska in adopting statewide nonpartisan open primaries where all voters vote!
A diverse group of Alaskans came together to create Alaskans for Better Elections- dedicated to putting Alaskans back in control of their elections and making them “more open, transparent, and fair.” Opening the primaries to all voters was one of the group’s key goals, along with implementing ranked choice voting and campaign finance disclosure. Alaska has the highest number of registered independent voters of any state in the country - well over 50% of all voters.
Alaskans for Better Elections won an important court victory against the Alaska State Attorney General and party insiders who wanted to stop them from gathering signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative.
St. Louis (2020)
STL Approves Prop D for Democracy passed in overwhelming numbers--getting 68% of the St. Louisan vote! We’re so excited for what this means for St. Louis voters and we're proud to be a part of this successful campaign.
St. Louis was one of only a few remaining major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Louisville, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and DC are the others) that conduct partisan municipal elections. Over 80% of cities conduct nonpartisan elections and let all voters vote for whomever they want in both the first and second rounds. Like many cities completely dominated by one party, the only election that counts in St. Louis is the Democratic primary; whomever wins the Democratic Primary is the de facto winner.
Measure 3 for top two open primaries came very close to passing--receiving one of the highest votes of any reform on the ballot anywhere in the country at 57% of the vote (it needed 60%).
One thing unites all Florida voters: the growing frustration with a political system that is broken, rigged, and unfair. Florida disenfranchises more independent voters than any other state in the country.
3.6 million independent voters - 27% of all registered Floridians - are currently barred from participating in the taxpayer funded primary elections. For many Florida voters, the primary election is the only election that matters, with a mere 16% of general election races in the state considered competitive.
Open primaries was the second most popular issue brought before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) at nine public hearings held across the state in 2017, with dozens of Floridians flocking to speak and thousands more signing an online petition in support. With recent polling finding 70% of Florida voters-Republicans, Democrats and independents-supporting open primaries, the state has reached a tipping point.
Unrig it 2020
One thing united American voters this election year: the growing frustration with a political system that is broken, rigged, unfair –choose your favorite adjective.
Open Our Democracy
Washington is a mess. Gerrymandering and closed partisan primaries have created a gulf between the US Congress and theAmerican people. And that gulf is growing every day.
One member of Congress is saying “enough is enough!”
Congressman John Delaney has introduced the Open Our Democracy Act to create open primaries and end partisan gerrymandering for all federal elections.
He is standing up to the entire Washington establishment. Will you stand with him?
Send your congressional representatives an email in support of the Open Our Democracy Act today. Let’s get this bill a hearing and send a message to John Delaney that we have his back.
What we Accomplished in 2016
Thank you to everyone who supported the Open Primaries movement in 2016. We accomplished more this year than we could have ever imagined, thanks in large part to our volunteers and activists from across the country.
When 2016 began, open primaries was a fringe issue, but now we know that 70 percent of Americans support us. Thousands of voters from every state stood up and demanded change from the parties this year, and as a result, our movement grew immensely and another state passed open primaries. Voters are now organizing in states across the country, from New York to Oregon, to restore our democracy.
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.”