California's presidential primary system violates the constitutional rights of those who don't belong to either major party, an advocacy group for independent voters alleges in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
The Independent Voter Project — which steered the nation's most populous state to adopt a nonpartisan "top two" primary system for state and congressional elections a decade ago — is now hoping the California courts will to strike down rules permitting the Democratic and Republican parties to control next year's presidential nomination contests.
Federal courts have said the parties have broad latitude to set the rules for their own contests. But the lawsuit filed in San Bernardino Superior Court alleges that California's top election official, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, is ignoring a state constitutional requirement that presidential primaries be truly "open" to voters regardless of party.
The Independent Voter Project (IVP) is an organization that seeks to re-engage nonpartisan voters and promote nonpartisan election reform through initiatives, litigation, and voter education. We work with
organizations around the country to reduce the institutional barriers that limit electoral competition, restrict the nonpartisan right to vote, and insulate the two major parties from competition. As well, analyzes the legal, political, and social barriers to success, to focus on reforms that move us forward. We believe democracy functions best when the most people participate and representatives should be accountable to their entire community, not just their party. To provide voters with politically neutral, accurate, and reliable information about important public policy issues and to encourage non-partisan voters to vote and to participate in the democratic process.