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Where to go from here

Posted by Jesse Shayne on July 07, 2016 at 5:07 PM

This year’s presidential primary was a disgrace. Many of us waited in line for as long as five hours to vote; others were unable to vote altogether. Officials blamed us, the voters, rather than take responsibility for a failed system. And the system is failing us.

Primaries in the state of Arizona, and in many other states that have closed primaries, are the biggest form of voter suppression that there is in this country, because people are not allowed to vote for whom they want. People are forced to vote for who the parties want them to vote for and it is time that we change that. It is my belief that unless we vote in primaries, we do not get invested in the process. We’ve heard people say all too often: “why vote in general elections, if the people who won in the primaries are going to win anyway?” And they are right! How can we possibly argue that more people need to get out to vote when they know the system is rigged and the results are predetermined for them?

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Closed, partisan primaries have a huge impact on Latino political participation

Posted by John Fernandes on April 01, 2016 at 2:43 PM

This article was written by Danny Ortega and Armida Lopez for Latino Fox News.

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We stand at a critical moment for the Latino community and our country. As we watch the tumult of the 2016 election season unfold, we’ve seen the Republican Party candidates demonize us in an effort to rally their base and the Democratic Party offer the same recycled platitudes from election years past. We are the fastest growing voting bloc in the country but we have yet to find our political voice. A recent poll of 1,500 Latinos across the state of Arizona found that 90 percent wanted new strategies and new ways for empowerment.

Now, more than ever, it is time to embrace making a change when Latinos are rising in numbers as a community and upping our voter registrations but our voter participation is going down. We need to create a culture of voting and it starts in the primaries and having a choice for the people.

- D. Ortega and A. Lopez

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Effort in South Dakota Aims to Drop Parties

Posted by John Fernandes on March 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM

This article was written by Kristina Peterson for the Wall Street Journal.

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In South Dakota, where the shadow of Mount Rushmore’s presidents looms large, political parties could become nearly invisible on ballots.

The antiestablishment anger helping to propel the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders across the country is taking a different twist here: fueling support among disenchanted voters for a ballot initiative with the lofty goal of getting rid of both political parties—as much as possible, at least.

When South Dakotans turn up at the polls in November, they will be asked to decide whether to eliminate party labels next to most candidates’ names on future ballots. The amendment to the state constitution would also establish open primary elections, with the top two vote-getters from any party advancing to the general election in most races.

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Open Primaries Arizona Statement on the Presidential Primary

Posted by Al Benninghoff on March 28, 2016 at 12:44 PM

Last Tuesday's Presidential Preference primary was a disgrace. The long lines at the polls and countless examples of Arizonans not being able to cast ballots have been cataloged by many, as has the fact that independent voters, 37% of registered voters in Arizona, were not even eligible to cast a ballot!  

At the very moment when Arizonans stepped forward to be heard, the system failed them.

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Roberts: Why do we foot the (big) bill for presidential primaries?

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 25, 2016 at 10:14 AM

This article was written by Laurie Roberts for the Arizona Republic.

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Secretary of State Michele Reagan has come up with a great idea.

No, really.

The state’s top elections official is proposing that the state stop paying for presidential primaries -- a move that would save us a cool $10 million.

The Arizona Capitol Times is reporting that Reagan plans to propose eliminating the subsidy when she submits her supplemental budget request to the Legislature Instead, the parties would have to pick up the tab, or figure out another way to select their nominees.

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New Cause for Hope in Arizona Politics

Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 13, 2016 at 10:29 AM

CONTACT
Drew Sexton
(602) 738-1187
dsexton@azhighground.com

 

PHOENIX — Arizonans across the political spectrum are fed up with the state of our government. Almost two-thirds of voters believe the State Legislature has the wrong priorities and that there is too much partisan conflict in the Arizona State Capitol.  Now, there is finally cause for hope that together we can change the system and make it work for the people of Arizona 

Two committees were filed yesterday with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to support two constitutional amendments to promote fairness and transparency in Arizona candidate elections. The committees will be spearheaded by the Open and Honest Elections coalition which is driven by the fundamental premise that Arizona voters have the right to know who is contributing large amounts of money to influence our elections and the right to participate equally in all elections.

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Faces of Open Primaries: Kevin Glover

Posted by Kellie Ryan on December 17, 2015 at 5:24 PM

Kevin_Glover.jpgThe work that Open Primaries is doing in Arizona is crucial for our citizens. From our efforts to open the Arizona Presidential Primaries to Independent voters, to our efforts pushing the top two system for our statewide and Congressional elections.

I have heard some very great responses from people with various political persuasions that it is time for the people to have power over the parties when it comes to electing our leaders and that nominees for various political offices are accountable to all of us.

As a canvasser, it has been an exciting experience hearing people express how our electoral process needs structural change and must not restrain people.

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It's Our Election, Not Theirs

Posted by Patrick McWhortor on November 10, 2015 at 9:01 AM

When our country was founded, the American Revolutionaries rallied around one principle: the people should rule, not the kings.

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To that end, the concept of an election was the essential building block of American democracy, setting us apart from Europe.This idea, that people should hold elections to decide who governs, has been a beacon to revolutionaries across the world who have pursued democratic reforms since 1776.

 

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Supporter Spotlight: Why I Support Open Primaries

Posted by Patrick McWhortor on October 14, 2015 at 8:42 PM

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I once read a book called “Getting to Yes.” Its premise was that if one enters a negotiation with the idea that there must be a winner and a loser, the reality is nobody wins. Now, consider the bell curve. The ends are quite small, the center much larger. In life, the ends represent ideological extremes, while the majority fall somewhere in the center of the curve.

In today’s partisan politics, it is those at either end of the bell curve – those who still negotiate with the winner-loser mentality who are making policy – and we are all losers in the end.

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Is This the Best We Can Do?

Posted by Patrick McWhortor on October 08, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Last week, politicos in Washington DC were patting themselves on the back for averting a shutdown of the federal government for the second time in two years.

BillBecomesLaw.jpgReally? This is what deserves a pat on the back? This is how low we have set the bar?

But wait: if you were disappointed that partisan politics in Washington did not deliver the cliff-hanging drama and high stakes government nail-biting that substitutes for real public policy making in the middle of our republic’s third century, then you can keep your hopes up. The decision to keep the government doors open last week only lasts until December 11.

 

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