Ending Closed Primaries Forever
This was a tough year in American politics. The Democratic establishment managed to block the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders and my campaign to unseat Debbie Wasserman Schultz. On the Republican side, Donald Trump campaigned as an outsider, but his transition has opened the door wide to the GOP corporate establishment.
One of the ways the establishment has been able to block progressive change has been through the use of closed primaries, in which only registered Democrats can vote in Democratic primaries and only registered Republicans can vote in Republican primaries. That’s why we are pushing for referendums for open primaries, to allow all voters, regardless of party registration, to vote in an expanded primary and then allow the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, to enter a runoff in the general election.
Closed primaries favor establishment candidates by limiting public participation in the election process. Not only does the closed primary system lock out independent voters, the fastest growing part of the electorate, but it also produces weak candidates who do not appeal to voters as a whole.
Bernie Sanders did well in open primaries by attracting a large number of new voters, including millions of young Millennials who voted for the first time. That’s why it was no surprise this past May when Wasserman Schultz, while still serving as chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), called for scrapping open primaries and only allowing voters registered as Democrats to participate in primaries.
In states that had open primaries, Bernie Sanders was expanding the base of the Democratic Party. We need open primaries at every level, including state and local elections. That’s why at Progress For All we are pushing for state referendums, starting with Florida, to require open primaries.
In order to accomplish this, we need to gather nearly a million petition signatures in the state of Florida. This is why we’re asking for your help to gather the resources and people power to hit that number.
Progress For All accepts only small donations from real people. We will not take a penny from any corporate PACs and we will not accept unlimited undisclosed donations from millionaires or billionaires. Please donate $3 or whatever you can to support our efforts for open primaries.
The only solution for all that ails our democracy is more democracy. We must remember that now more than ever.
That’s why we are pushing for referendums for open primaries, like presently exists in California and some other states, to allow all voters, regardless of party registration, to vote in an expanded primary and then allow the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, to enter a runoff in the general election.
Thank you for all your support.
Chair, Progress For All
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