Monday, July 28, 2014
An Open Letter to Sen. Charles Schumer: End Partisan Primaries, Save America
Dear Senator Schumer,
Thank you for writing “End Partisan Primaries, Save America” in the July 21st edition of The New York Times. You are right---closed party primaries do “poison the health” of our democracy, and we need to move to Top Two Open Primaries all across the country, including here in New York. As you described, in a Top Two open primary system, all voters can vote and choose from all the candidates. The top two vote getters would then appear on the November ballot.
In your oped, you call for the formation of a national movement to bring this reform to all the states in the country. There is one, led by forces such as IndependentVoting.org, Endpartisanship.org, and many others across the country. This fall, a Top Two Open primary initiative will be on the ballot in Oregon. Plans are underway to put it back on the ballot in Arizona in 2016.
Here in NYC, the NYC Independence Party, former Mayor Bloomberg, and the Citizen’s Union have championed this reform. Right now in NYC, there are more than a million voters independent of the two major parties who are locked out of our primaries, where most elected officials are actually chosen. In New York State that number is over 4 million.
We applaud and welcome you to the movement for nonpartisan primary reform, Sen. Schumer. Yours is an important voice. We call on you to help make Top Two nonpartisan primaries a reality here in New York.