Posted on July 01, 2015 at 5:05 PM
New Poll Shows July 4th is "Independents" Day in Philadelphia as Voters Express Support for Nonpartisan Election Reforms
- 73 percent of voters polled think there are definitely flaws in Philadelphia’s closed primary system.
- 88 percent of voters polled support changing Philadelphia’s primary system to either an open primary system or to a Top Two system.
New York, NY – July 1, 2015 - Open Primaries, a national political reform organization, released today poll results showing Philadelphia voters’ overwhelming desire for an election system more focused on a candidate’s own positions, rather than political partisanship.
According to the polling conducted from May-June of 346 registered independent voters in metro Philadelphia, 73 percent of voters polled feel there are definitely flaws in Philadelphia’s closed primary system and an impressive 88 percent support changing the current system to either an open primary system or a Top Two, nonpartisan election system. Interestingly, 87 percent of the voters polled were already aware of Pennsylvania’s closed primary system. Complete results below.
In a Top Two, nonpartisan election system, all candidates appear on one ballot, every voter votes in the primary election, and the top two candidates, regardless of party, move on to the general election. This means candidates must appeal to all voters, rather than just the narrow interests of the party base that tend to turn out in a primary election. This system creates a legislature that answers to the voters and not the parties. Having all candidates appear on one ballot means voters can vote for a candidate based on the issues, rather than the party they represent.
“There’s a movement for structural reform in this country,” said John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries. “It’s about how we elect people who actually represent us and cut through the partisan polarization gripping America. The people of Pennsylvania, like many others in our great nation, recognize a flawed system and demand change.”
Closed primaries are fundamentally unfair as they bar millions of Americans from voting, increase partisanship in state legislatures and in Congress, and make it more difficult for Americans—both voters and elected officials—to come together across ideological lines.
The Pennsylvania legislature should represent its constituents and enact nonpartisan elections as voters are demanding.
Please see below for poll results.
Philadelphia’s independent voters join a broader movement that’s sweeping the nation, calling for election reform with activists in Alaska, Arizona, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Florida working to place nonpartisan primary measures directly on the ballot. Legislators and Secretaries of State in Mississippi, Illinois, Maine and New Mexico are working to advance legislation for open primaries. The movement is driven by the growth of independent voters (41% in the latest Gallup poll) and success of the “Top Two” system in California, Washington, and Nebraska.
Open Primaries is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization working to enact open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. Open Primaries is a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote.