Tuesday, January 24, 2012

#1 Reform Issue for Independent Voters: Open Primaries!

  • The Nation: Six GOP Questions (by John Nichols, NPR - John Nichols is a writer for The Nation.) 6. South Carolina held an open primary election, as compared with Iowa's caucuses and New Hampshire's relatively closed primary. While the first-caucus and first-primary states saw only marginal improvements in turnout, South Carolina's was way up. And, by all accounts, South Carolina counted the votes accurately and produced a clear result — as opposed to the Iowa mess that fostered the lie of Romnevitability. Isn't it time to create a uniform and functional system for nominating candidates? Shouldn't caucuses, which invariably draw narrower portions of the electorate, be eliminated? And shouldn't all states have open primaries where everyone who wants to vote Republican can do so? And shouldn't the rules be structured so that all serious contenders can have a place on the ballot — even in Virginia?
  • Appeals court upholds Washington state's open primary system (By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times) In a decision that could foreshadow survival of California's new "top two" primary system, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a similar Washington state ballot initiative that changed the way voters choose candidates in primaries.
  • American Independent Party Opens its Primary to Independent Voters (Ballot Access News) On January 22, the American Independent Party of California held a meeting of party officers, and voted to tell the California Secretary of State that it will permit independents to vote in its 2012 primary. Of course, because of Proposition 14, the only partisan primaries will be for President. The American Independent Party allowed independents to vote in its primaries in 2008 and earlier years, but in 2010 it changed its rules and didn’t allow independents to vote in its primary.
  • Dems Pre-Endorsements Presage Tough 2012 (Posted by John Myers, KQED/ Capital Notes) Again, these meetings and subsequent endorsements are notable because of the brave new world of party primaries, ushered in by 2010's Proposition 14 top-two system. It's a world unsettled, too, by new district maps that have left more open seats than at any time in recent history.
  • Election 101: Who are Florida primary voters, and how are they different? - In Florida, only preregistered Republican Party members can vote in the GOP presidential primary. That’s different from South Carolina and New Hampshire. Here's a look at the various types of elections. (By Peter Grier, Christian Science Monitor) In Florida, only preregistered Republican Party members can vote in the GOP primary. That’s different from South Carolina, where independents and even Democrats could cross over and participate in the Republican primary if they wanted to. It’s also different from New Hampshire, where independents (but not Democrats) could go GOP.
  • Skipping Florida smart for Ron Paul (By Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor, Tampa Bay Times) There's another logical reason: Paul never had much chance of doing well in Florida, which is the first contest in the primary season where only registered Republicans can vote. Paul does best in caucuses and "open primaries" where his army of devoted, young followers can vote Republican whether or not they have any strong allegiance to the GOP.
  • U.S. needs to reform elections (LETTER Greenville online) Set filing dates three months before primary elections. Schedule open primaries for all 50 states on the same day. Hold general elections three months later.
  • On politics: Voting reform must be bold, far-reaching (By RAY HACKETT, Norwich Bulletin) Let’s stop the pretense that we’re “preserving the sanctity of the party” by pretending we don’t want to open primaries to unaffiliated voters while we continue to turn a blind eye to this election-related version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”… Second, let’s give voters a real choice, a real reason to come to the polls. Let’s be bold and declare that all candidates who qualify for the ballot will be treated equally. Let’s stop the hypocrisy of pretending that public financing provides an equal playing field — because it doesn’t if you’re something other than a Democrat or Republican.
  • Latina-led Movement Urges Democratic Latinos to Vote in “Open Primaries”- Anyone But Romney (Hispanically Speaking News.com) Arizona-based National Tequila Party Movement is issuing an action alert to encourage Independent and Democratic Latinos to vote in the numerous state open primary races across the country.

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