Rising Independent Voter Registration, Open Primaries, and a new Freedom Party
Pollsters and election statisticians have turned an eye to registration numbers in an effort to keep their heads above water in the sea change that is taking place in American politics. More people are becoming independent, choosing candidates not parties. There’s chatter about a third party… And as Jackie Salit pointed out in her recent Report from the President at IndependentVoting.org
“Right now, it’s very hard for the American people to express themselves. The media has molded politics into a blood sport. And the political system channels everything into a left/center/right, Democratic/Republican paradigm that undermines progress and rewards division. Independents are trying to make a statement about all of that. But even so, we barely register as “real,” even though, paradoxically, we now decide many important elections.”
One of the ways independents have taken on this fight is by challenging partisan attempts by both Repubs and Dems (depending on which party is the “minority” party in the state legislature) to close primaries. Such is the case in Idaho where a federal judge will hear testimony in a trial that could have national implications. Idaho voters do not register by party. Californians voted in June for a Top Two open primary referendum that enfranchised 3.4 million decline to state independents.
The gov race in New York has just gained new life. New Yorkers have two good choices in November — Andrew Cuomo on Column C the Independence Party line, or City Councilmember from Brooklyn Charles Barron — who I personally believe deserves support in his challenge to the Democratic Party establishment. Councilman Barron, a former Harlem Black Panther Party activist in the sixties, has taken a very positive step forward in the attempt to create ballot status for the new Freedom Party. Freedom needs 50,000 votes on Column J.
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