Posted on April 04, 2019 at 9:23 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2018
Voters Condemn CRC Vote to Keep Florida’s Primaries Closed
Activists Vow to Keep Pressure on CRC to Put Open Primaries on 2018 Ballot
Tallahassee, FL – February 1, 2018 – A coalition of voters, led by Florida-based reform groups Progress for All and Florida Fair and Open Primaries heavily criticized the Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) General Provisions Committee for failing to pass a proposal today that would have opened Florida’s primaries to the 3.4 million independent voters who are currently barred from voting in the state’s taxpayer funded primaries The proposal had already passed the Ethics and Elections Committee after much debate and multiple hearings at which over a dozen Floridians and non-partisan organizations such as the League of Women Voters spoke out in support.
Open primaries was a popular topic 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. 73% of Floridians-including supermajorities of Republicans, Democrats and independent voters- support open primaries and want the CRC to put open primaries on the 2018 ballot according to a recent poll.
The coalition is now calling on the entire Commission to reconsider the proposal and give Floridians the chance to vote for open primaries in 2018.
“Today the CRC General Provisions Committee has ignored the clear will of the voters to make Florida’s democracy more open, fair, and responsive to the people. It also ignored all the rigorous and thorough discussion and debate that the Ethics and Elections Committee of the CRC went through in voting to support Commissioner Schifino’s open primaries resolution. The people of Florida, who support open primaries by very large margins, deserve better. They’re tired of being one of only nine states that completely shuts out the fastest growing group of voters-independents. The movement for open primaries in Florida is just getting started and is not going away. We’re going to continue to hold the full CRC accountable to let all voters vote.”
Progress for All is a small-donor based grassroots political and community action group supporting progressive candidates and causes at the national, state, and local levels.
Florida Fair and Open Primaries (FFAOP) is a grassroots non-partisan, volunteer organization that supports adding a constitutional amendment to the ballot to change Florida primary elections from a closed system to a top two open primary system.
Open Primaries is a national, election reform organization working to enact open primaries, counter efforts to close primaries, and participate in building local, state and national coalitions.