Monday, January 28, 2008

We need open primaries in all states!

From today's Wall Street Journal:
On Feb. 5, voters in 22 states will cast ballots. More than half of all Democratic delegates and over 40% of Republican delegates are at stake in a pair of races that remain far from settled.
Strategists must consider not just state-by-state polling, but also the widely varying rules governing each contest. Some states allow independents to vote in partisan primaries; others are closed. Some are caucuses more likely to attract activists; some are primaries where early voting is already under way. In the Democratic field, Sen. Hillary Clinton has the advantage when only registered party voters are allowed in. Sen. Barack Obama, with an extensive field organization, is expected to do well in caucuses. (Strategizing for Super Tuesday, Wall Street Journal)

And likewise, independent voters must strategize for Super Tuesday. For some of us in closed primary states like New York, anyone who isn't registered in the Dem or Repub parties can't vote in the primaries. That's one reason some people stay registered with a party so they can vote in the primary that determines the candidate that runs in the general election. About half the states however have open primaries, some with nonpartisan registration and others that allow voters to pick the primary they want to vote in.

Read CUIP's Independents Will Make the Difference on February 5th. On the political calendar, February 5th is a date that looms large. Twenty-two states hold presidential primaries or caucuses. No wonder it’s been dubbed not only Super Tuesday, but in some quarters Tsunami Tuesday. What is the Super Big Wave that could sweep through 15 of those 22 states? .... and
INDEPENDENTS ACTION ALERT!Let's call for Open Primaries in Every State
In recent weeks, CUIP has received many calls and messages from independents around the country asking whether they can vote in the upcoming presidential primaries. Each state has different procedures for their elections, and the political parties in each state determine who can vote in the primaries, so the answer varies.

The Hankster totally agrees! We need open primaries in every state for presidential elections. Open primaries give voters some say in an otherwise partisan and often clubhouse system. Let the people decide!!!


Robert B. Winn said...

Political parties are self-created societies which claim to be the government. They use primary elections as proof that they have some kind of authority over all Americans. George Washington called this kind of control "artificial authority". What Americans need to do is to tell these private organizations that if they want to hold private elections, then they need to pay for them from political party funds, not from public revenues, which are for elections that include the American people. Otherwise, they are doing what the Nazi Party did in Germany, the Fascist Party did in Italy, and the Communist Party did in East European governments, saying that their party or parties and the government of the United States are the same thing.

N. Hanks said...

Robert, thanks for your comment and I appreciate your sentiment! Fortunately here in the good ol' US of A, about half the states allow independents to vote in the primaries. Some have nonpartisan registration. Let's urge the rest of the states to adopt open primaries and use this window of opportunity to expand democracy here now!!