Posted on August 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM
Senior Vice President
Statement from Open Primaries on Federal Appeals Court Decision Upholding Hawaii’s Open Primary
New York – August 16, 2016 – "Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision to support the way the people of Hawaii hold their primary elections, rejecting the Democratic Party's desire to exclude independent and unaffiliated voters for voting in elections they pay for.
We commend the Court’s decision to stand with people of Hawaii against the Democratic Party’s attempts to disenfranchise them. The primaries are funded by the taxpayers and administered by government agencies. Every Hawaiian should be able to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice, whether they are registered in a party or not. The state of Hawaii alone spent over $1.5 million taxpayer dollars on the presidential primary this year.
The 2016 primary process had millions of Americans scratching their heads and saying: "why is the process run this way?" Over 26 million independents were barred from voting at all, and millions of Democrats and Republicans were subjected to arcane rules, regulations, and early registration deadlines.
43% of all Americans-including 50% of millennial voters-now identify as independent. Had they succeeded, the Republican and Democratic Parties would have been able to use this decision as a weapon to close the primaries to them in the dozens of states that conduct open elections. A recent AP/NORC poll showed that 70% of all Americans now favor an open primary system that allows everyone to participate. We hope the Democratic Party of Hawaii is listening.”
--Jeremy Gruber, Senior Vice President, 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.