News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.

Open Primaries

Open Primaries is a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote. The mission of Open Primaries is to advocate for open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters and policymakers, advance litigation, train spokespeople, conduct and support research, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. We provide information to the public about open and nonpartisan primaries. We engage all sectors—voters, policy makers, good government and civic organizations, business leaders, community activists—to educate, build bridges and develop the primary reform movement.
News. Community. Debate. Levers for better democracy.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter.

Anastasiia_New/Getty Images

Ten states will require an increased of number signatures to get citizen-driven measures on the ballot in 2022.

How voting for people in '20 made it harder to vote for ideas in '22

The irony seems obvious: One consequence of the burst in voter participation this year is that it will be tougher for those same voters to participate next time.

Half the states give their people a shot at putting proposals to a statewide vote, the sort of citizen-driven democracy that many good-government voices say should be much closer to the rule than the exception. In 10 of those states, which are home to about one in six Americans, the petition signature minimums for getting referendums on the ballot are tied to recent turnout and registration numbers.

No surprise after an election when the highest share of eligible people voted in more than a century, the 2020 figures went up in all 10 states. But here's the surprise for those unfamiliar with the legal quirk: Millions more people will need to sign on to proposed plebiscites starting next year or else the measures won't be considered.

Keep reading... Show less

Open Primaries/NANR Winning Campaigns of 2020

Organizer: Open Primaries

Open Primaries, in association with the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers, will host a special Zoom call to feature the state leaders and campaigns that heralded a breakthrough year for the open primaries movement.

2020 saw big wins in St. Louis and Alaska and millions of voters voting for top-two open primaries in Florida, where open primaries received a higher margin of votes — 57 percent — than either of the presidential candidates. The call will feature the leaders of the 2020 campaigns Scott Kendall (Alaskans for Better Elections), Benjamin Singer (STL Approves) and Steve Hough (Florida Open Primaries).

Location: Virtual

The Fair Elections Roadmap: Redistricting and Open Primaries Reform

Organizer: Center for Election Science

In recent years, reformers have sought to heal the partisanship that divides our nation while making our elections fairer and more representative. Two important reforms that have gained steam are redistricting reform and open primaries with a top-two runoff. Proponents argue that each of these reforms would take power out of the hands of the legislators, established political parties, and special interests and return it to the people.

Dr. Christian Grose, associate Professor of political science and public policy at the University of Southern California will talk about his research on these reforms for the Schwarzenegger Institute. We'll explore his analyses of gerrymandering, false majorities and the impact that both redistricting reform and open primary systems have on our elections.

Location: Webinar

Zihao Chen/Getty Images

Alaska's new elections system challenged in state court

The sweeping overhaul of Alaska elections that won narrow approval last month is already being challenged in court.

A lawsuit filed in state court Tuesday by members of three political parties argues the new system must be stopped before it violates Alaskans' right to free political association, free speech, petition, due process and other rights guaranteed by the U.S. and state constitutions.

If the suit fails, starting in 2022 the traditional partisan primaries will be eliminated in favor of single contests open to all candidates for governor, state executive offices, the Legislature and Congress. The top four finishers, regardless of party, will advance to a general election reliant on ranked-choice voting.

Keep reading... Show less
© Issue One. All rights reserved.