Press Releases - Open Primaries
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Press Releases

Voters Hail Resolution to Open the Primaries in Florida

Posted on November 09, 2017 at 3:10 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 9, 2017

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

Miami, FL – November 9, 2017 – A broad and diverse coalition, led by Florida-based reform groups Progress for All and Florida Fair and Open Primaries hailed Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) member Bill Schifino’s newly introduced proposal to open Florida’s primaries to the 3.4 million independent voters who are currently barred from voting in the state’s primary elections.

The coalition is now calling on the entire Commission to embrace Mr. Schifino’s proposal and give Floridians the chance to vote for open primaries in 2018.

Open primaries was one of the most popular topics brought before the CRC at nine public hearings held across the state earlier this year. Dozens of Floridians showed up and spoke in favor of changing the current rules, which exclude independents and limit the choices of Democrats and Republicans. Hundreds more submitted written statements of support and individual Commissioners have received thousands of emails and postcards, along with a 9,000 signature petition, supporting open primaries.

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Voters To Demand Open Primaries Tomorrow At Florida Hearing

Posted on October 03, 2017 at 3:55 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 3, 2017

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

Miami, FL – October 3, 2017 – The Florida Constitution Revision Commission Ethics and Elections Committee begins their first day of deliberations tomorrow and open primaries activists will be in attendance to testify and present over 6,000 signatures from voters across the state in support of a submission demanding the reform of the state’s outdated and exclusionary primary system.

Florida’s current election system bars 3.4 million independent voters – well over a quarter of registered voters in the state -- from casting their votes in primary elections. A recent poll found broad support for reforming the state’s primary elections, with 73% of Floridians-including supermajorities of Republican, Democrat and independent voters-supporting having the Constitution Revision Commission put an open primaries initiative before the voters.

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Voters Across Florida Crowd Hearings To Demand Open Primaries

Posted on May 18, 2017 at 11:26 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2017

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

Miami, FL – May 18, 2017 – The Florida Constitution Revision Commission concluded their first round of public hearings before a capacity crowd last night in Tampa, where dozens of Floridians spoke out for the need to reform the state’s outdated and exclusionary primary system. The Tampa hearing was the last of nine public hearings held across the state--from Miami to Jacksonville-by the Commission since March. Open primaries has emerged as a central topic since the first hearing and throughout the process.

Over the last two months, scores of Floridians have publicly shared their experiences of being locked out of voting and encouraged the Commissioners to put a primary reform measure on the ballot. Their testimony has been as diverse as it was heartfelt. For example, Giancarlo Espinosa from Key West drove almost 200 miles to testify at the Miami hearing in April where he declared: “We need to stop preventing citizens of the United States of America from participating in the political process.”

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Poll Shows Florida Voters Want Open Primaries

Posted on March 28, 2017 at 3:25 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 28, 2017

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

Miami, FL – March 28, 2017 – Today Open Primaries, a national leader on election reform, Progress for All, a grassroots political and community action group, and Florida Fair and Open Primaries, a grassroots organization dedicated to enacting open primaries in Florida, released the results of a statewide survey of Florida voters that finds overwhelming discontent with the state’s political environment. It identifies broad support for reforming the state’s primary elections.

92% of Florida voters want their elected officials to put the interests of Florida voters ahead of the interests of their own political party. 93% of Florida voters want their elected leaders to bring opposing interests together to create good policies for the state and 87% of voters support electoral changes that expand democracy in Florida. 74% of Floridians want independent voters—27% of the Florida electorate—included in primary elections and 73% of Floridians-including supermajorities of Republican, Democrat and independent voters-want the Constitution Revision Commission, which begins public hearings tomorrow, to put an open primaries initiative before the voters.

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Poll Reveals Maine Voters Frustration With Partisanship

Posted on March 20, 2017 at 2:30 PM

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

Portland, ME – March 21, 2017 – Mainers for Open Elections, a state organization working for open elections at all levels, and Open Primaries, a national leader on election reform, released a new survey that shines a light on the disconnect between Maine voters and the current political system. The survey identifies broad support for reforming the state’s primary elections.

81% of Maine voters feel that Congressional representatives do “what’s best for their party” rather than the voters. 87% support electoral changes that foster more accountability to the voters. 80% of Mainers want independent voters— who make up 37% of Maine’s electorate—included in primary elections.

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Open Primaries Congratulates New Hampshire Lawmakers in Standing for Fair and Open Elections

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 4:55 PM

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

New York – February 23, 2017 – – Open Primaries, a national organization dedicated to protecting and expanding open primary systems and enhancing voter power, applauds the members of the New Hampshire House Election Law Committee for soundly rejecting, in a 20-0 vote, an attempt to close New Hampshire’s primaries to independent voters. Representative Norman Silber’s bill, HB642*, would have instituted a series of restrictions on voting and voter choice including abandoning same day voter registration and placing burdens on student voting.

Representative Silber’s attempts to close the New Hampshire primaries would have had profound consequences for representative democracy in New Hampshire. There are 404,000 independent voters in New Hampshire, constituting 41% of all registered voters; the largest group of voters in the state. HB642 would have shut these voters out of every future primary election in the state despite the fact that primary elections are taxpayer funded.

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Effort to Close Virginia’s Primary Elections Soundly Defeated

Posted on February 07, 2017 at 2:56 PM

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

New York – February 7, 2017 – – Open Primaries, a national organization dedicated to protecting and expanding voter choice in our primary elections, applauds Virginian voters who stood up and fought back against legislative efforts by State Senators Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) and John Cosgrove (R- Chesapeake) to enact closed partisan primaries in Virginia.

This is the second time in the last 12 months that political insiders have attempted and failed to curtail voter freedom in Virginia.

Senators Obershain and Cosgrove had introduced two bills -- SB 902 & SB 821 -- that would have required Virginians to join a political party upon registering to vote (Virginia currently has nonpartisan voter registration) and would have allowed the parties to close their primaries;, effectively shutting out millions of independent Virginia voters and restricting the choices of millions more.

Open Primaries, joined forces with VIVA—the Virginia Independent Voter Association— to mobilize broad public support against the legislation via radio commercials, social media, and direct voter outreach. Over the past month, thousands of letters and phone calls from Virginians across the state poured into Senators’ offices with strong statements of “keep Virginia primaries open to all!” In response to public pressure, Senator Obenshain pulled his bill from a vote in Committee and Senator Cosgrove’s bill was defeated on the Senate floor by a bipartisan vote of 29-11.

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New York State Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Lawsuit Deeming State’s Closed Primaries and Voter Eligibility Regulations Unconstitutional

Posted on December 06, 2016 at 12:56 PM

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

In response to the public demand for primary reform and after facing disenfranchisement himself in the 2016 presidential primaries, Manhattan attorney Mark Moody brings a lawsuit on behalf of 3.2 million New Yorkers who were shut out of this year’s Presidential Primary against the New York State and New York City Board of Elections. The lawsuit seeks to toss out the state's current voter eligibility regulations for primaries, which are among the most restrictive in the nation.

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New York Voters Petition Senator Bernie Sanders to Support Landmark Lawsuit Challenging Legality of New York’s Closed Primary Election System

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 3:17 PM

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

New York – November 21, 2016 – Open Primaries, a non-profit electoral reform organization, today sent a petition signed by 3,407 voters to Senator Bernie Sanders requesting his attendance at a hearing before the New York State Supreme Court challenging the legality of New York's closed primary system.

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Let Colorado Vote passes two primary reform initiatives; Vote Yes on V comes close to upending the establishment in South Dakota.

Posted on November 09, 2016 at 1:10 PM

CONTACT
Jeremy Gruber
Senior Vice President
jgruber@openprimaries.org
(609) 610-1602

New York – November 9, 2016 – – Open Primaries applauds the voters of Colorado and South Dakota for the strong statement they made in support of voter empowerment.

Coloradans voted to open their primary elections to give the 1.3 million voters who identify as independents, 37% of registered voters in Colorado, a voice. South Dakotans surpassed all expectations and came within less than 40,000 votes of passing a ballot measure that would completely “de-partisanize” the state’s primary system.

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