Posted on July 21, 2016 at 3:15 PM
Senior Vice President
Rule to Open the Primaries to be Introduced at Democratic Rules Committee Meeting
Members to Deliver Open Primaries Petition at Saturday Meeting
New York – July 21, 2016 – Members of the Democratic National Convention Standing Committee on Rules are planning on proposing an amendment to the Charter of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday in Philadelphia to open up the primaries across the country. To support their cause they plan on hand delivering Open Primaries petition which asks the Republican and Democratic Parties to “take such steps as are necessary to adopt rules that require all state party organizations to conduct open Presidential Primaries.” Close to 40,000 Americans, representing all 50 states, have signed the petition and Open Primaries activists and Convention delegates will be in Philadelphia to support this critical electoral reform.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1986 that political parties had the absolute right to open their primaries. Recent polling by the Associated Press shows 70% of Americans-Republicans, Democrats, and Independents-now support open primaries.
Open Primaries exploded into voters’ consciousness this spring as a direct result of a deeply flawed presidential primary season. 26.3 million Independent voters, including almost half of all millennial voters, were barred from voting in presidential primaries this year. Millions more registered Democrats and Republicans were prevented from voting for the candidate of their choice despite paying for the primaries with their tax dollars- to the tune of over a quarter of a billion dollars in closed primary states. Senator Sanders and his delegates have declared they will champion rules that open up the primaries at the meeting.
“The growing desire in this country to “vote for who you want!” is on a collision course with the partisan status quo. The American people have spoken up loud and clear this primary season; they want real representative democracy. They want a new political culture -one that embraces debate, new ideas, and different approaches to governance. We are giving the Democratic and Republican Parties a critical opportunity- to reflect the aspirations of the American people. I hope they seize it,” declared Jeremy Gruber, Senior Vice President of Open Primaries.
"Primary elections are a function of both a political party and the state. People who are specifically excluded from this choosing process, based on rules put in place by the party, are still affected by the outcome of the primary election. Disenfranchising these otherwise eligible voters prevents 'we the people' from selecting the candidate of our choice,” said Leigha LaFleur, Oregon Delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
“Our country faces many challenges. We can’t solve them with partisan politics as usual. Opening the primaries will better position the American people to shape our future political discourse. It’s not just a question of fairness. It’s a question of how we create the conditions for innovation. I hope the Democratic Party will embrace this important reform at their convention next week,” said John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries.
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.