Wherein I express my annoyance with a certain type of holier-than-thou “independent” voter”
The New York primary took place Tuesday and a big story about it, at least on cable news and social media, was how massive numbers of “independent” voters suffered “voter suppression” due to not being able to cast a vote in the partisan primary. The deadline to change one’s party affiliation in New York (as opposed to a new voter registrant, which was last month) was all the way back in October.
I will say, from a purely partisan standpoint, that such an early deadline is a terrible rule as it impedes party building. Most people are paying little attention to the Presidential race a full year out from it, so New York political parties who agreed to the onerous deadline out of concern for voters from one party tampering with another party’s primary elections were missing the forest for the trees. Those kind of shenanigans rarely change outcomes anyway so it’s not a good idea for parties to foreclose their ability to use the Presidential primary as a way to recruit new registrants via conversion. Continue reading
Posted in Campaigns, Civil Rights, Commentary, Donna Gratehouse, Elections, Legislation, President, Primaries
Tagged Arizona primary, closed primaries, Independent voters, new york primary, Open Primaries, presidential preference primary
Arizona’s Citizens Clean Election Commission had a panel discussion on Arizona’s Independent Voter in Tempe a few nights ago, based on information from a Nov. 2015 report by ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy.
Pima Dems Welcome Independent Voters (press release)
Along with women, the poor, the sick, seniors, public employees, union workers, the LGBTQ Community, African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and working class families, add independent voters to the list of Americans the Republican Party wants to disenfranchise.
An Arizona Capitol Times article today published in the Arizona Daily Star under the headline “Republicans troubled by independents’ impact in primary” explains in great detail how Arizona Republican leaders hope to “find ways around” a state law which allows independents to participate in primary election – something voters statewide approved nearly two decades ago.
Nearly 88,000 of the 124,000 independent voters who voted on August 26 returned Republican ballots – a rate surpassing 70-percent. That number accounted for just over 16-percent of the total number of votes cast in the Republican primary. Yet it seems many of those among the leadership of the “Grand Old Party” are unhappy with the increased voter participation. As with so many other issues, Arizona Republicans believe only a few people – an ideologically pure elite – have the judgment to make decisions for our whole society.
Arizona Democrats, on the other hand, strongly support allowing independent voters to make themselves heard at all stages of the voting process.
“As Democrats we strongly support all common-sense steps that increase voter participation in elections and make it easier for citizens of all parties – or no parties – to exercise their right to vote,” said Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Don Jorgensen. “The Pima County Democratic Party welcomes the participation of independent voters in our primary elections. The more opportunity there is for all voters to have their voices heard, the stronger the future will look for Arizona and the nation.”
It is strange that the same group who so quickly criticized Arizona Democrats for a lack of contested primary races would be upset that more people participated in their own Election Day contests. It is a clear indication that Arizona Republicans know that – all things being equal – independent voters’ core values are more likely to line up with those of the Democratic Party.
Contact: Jason Ground, Communications Director
Date: September 16, 2014