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Report from the President

Jacqueline Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org, hosts a bi-monthly national conference call, updating independents on the latest developments of our growing movement. 
Click here to listen
to a report


black america goes
independent.


For generations, African Americans have been politically connected to the Democratic Party. Find out how that is changing and who is leading the way.

Independent groups

CUIP is motivating, training and supporting an activist network of independent leaders who are building throughout the country.

AL, Independent Alabama

AR, IndependentArkansas.org

AZ, Independent Voters of Arizona

CA, IndependentVoice.org

CO, Coalition of Independent Voters In Colorado (CIVIC)

DE, Independent Party of Delaware

FL, Florida  Fair and Open Elections


GA, Georgia Independent Voters

GA, iMove

ID, American Independent Movement

IL, United Independents of Illinois


KY, Independent Kentucky

MA, Massachusetts Coalition of Independent Voters

MD, Maryland Independent Voters

MD, Independent Movement of Maryland

MI, Michigan Independent Voters


MO, Missouri Independents Stand Together (M.I.S.T.)

MS, Committee for Open Primaries

NC, North Carolina Independents

NH, New Hampshire Independent Voters

NJ, New Jersey Independent Voters

NM, New Mexico Open Primaries

NV, Independent Voters of Nevada (IVON)

NY, NYC Independence Clubs

OH, Independent Ohio

OR, Independent Voters of Oregon (IVOO)

PA, Independent Pennsylvanians

RI, Independent Voters of Rhode Island

SC, Independence Party of South Carolina

SD, South Dakota Voice of Independents

TX, Lone Star Independents

UT, Utah League of Independent Voters

VA, Virginia Independent Voters Association (VIVA)

 

Welcome New Visitors. This is an exciting and challenging time for independent voters and for the independent movement. Independents are now 43% of the electorate. Polls show that 41% of college students consider themselves indies as do 35% of African Americans under the age of 30.


Learn more about the campaign to

Open Our Democracy here.


Independents Call on Colorado Governor to Speak Out about Partisan Rewrite of Ballot Initiatives by State Legislature.  Gwen Ballard of CIVIC (left) penned a letter to CO Gov. Hickenlooper with Jackie Salit urging him to confront Colorado Legislative Council’s "maneuver to rewrite the Blue Book’s information on Initiatives 98 and 140" and effectively derail their popular support.

Read the letter here.

   

In "How the Three B's (Bernie, Barack and Bloomberg) Abandoned the Political Revolution" Jacqueline Salit writes "Sanders, Bloomberg and Obama were all leaders in movements, independent movements, movements that directly challenged — and in some cases defeated — the partisan status quo...Those three leaders — Bernie, Barack and Bloomberg, the Three B’s — could have used the chaos of this cycle to advance a new majoritarian, transpartisan, and multi-racial electoral coalition, one that is pro-reform and breaks with the endless regress of winning-at-all-costs. But they didn’t."

 

Read more at Huffington Post


IndependentVoting.org President Jackie Salit was among 45 respected political leaders, grassroots visionaries, business pioneers, change agents and advocates who spoke at the virtual American Citizens Summit, Aug 1-4, 2016. The event provided an opportunity to hear from MANY passionate and dedicated Americans working to reform our democracy. Click here to hear Jackie's remarks. They begin at 13:30 and run to 38:25


An Important Message from Dr. Lenora Fulani.

The Democratic and Republican Parties will soon gather in conventions to formally select their presidential nominees. They will also fight over the rules for their future nominating process. While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the presumed nominees, we shouldn’t presume anything when it comes to the rules.

Can you start a petition today calling for your state to adopt an open primary?


Read more


Michael Hardy, Esq., General Counsel and Exec. VP of National Action Network Testimony to DNC calls for Inclusion of all Voters in Prez Primary: Regardless of Race, Gender or Partisan Affiliation.

"What we are seeing is a broadening of the traditional voting rights agenda," stated Hardy. "It’s time to once again to place fundamental principles of popular sovereignty and full participation in our electoral process upfront in our platform if we are truly to be Democrats and if we truly want to fight to be a proud Democracy." 

Read more


Q&A with Jacqueline Salit, President of IV.org, and author, Independents Rising on the 2016 Presidential

Q. Where are independent voters going to go in November? Who will they vote for?

A. Before we talk about the choice that voters will make in the Presidential election in November, we need to talk about how much independent voters have shaped the election so far.  Their impact has been huge in three ways..." Read more


Bernie, We're in A Bind: An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Jacqueline Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org. Read Jackie Salit's open letter to Bernie Sanders in the Huffington Post. "Bernie, we're both in a bind," she says. "You need the support of independents to succeed.  We are giving it freely. We need your support for a true democratization of American politics.  Can you play that role? Can we find a way out of this bind?

Statement by Catana Barnes on the Nevada Caucus. My name is Catana L Barnes. I am an independent voter and the president of Independent Voters of Nevada, I would like to caucus for Bernie Sanders but the state of Nevada and the Democratic Party of Nevada require that I give up my independence to do so. 

Read more


You say you want a revolution, Bernie? Lots of Americans do. And they're not all Democrats. Jackie Salit's latest OpEd in the Huffington Posts takes a look at independent voters role in the Iowa caucus, the presidential primaries and beyond. Read more


2016 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire. What issues do independent voters want to hear the presidential candidates speak to?
Read more

AZ GOP to Indie Voters Pushing for Open Presidential Primaries: "Can't, Won't...Go Take a Hike" Thousands of letters sent in recent weeks to the chairs of the Arizona Democratic and Republican parties urging that the 2016 Presidential preference election be opened to independents, has drawn a reply from the offices of the AZ Republican Party. "'Can't, won't ... and go take a hike' was essentially their response," said Tim Castro of Independent Voters for Arizona. Read more.

Better than any prez debate, AZCCEC forum on Who Are Independent Voters? Cathy Stewart shared remarks at a forum hosted by Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission and presented by ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy and KJZZ 91.5 radio in Tempe, AZ. Read her statement here.

Statement by Independent Voters of Nevada Founder Catana Barnes on the Democratic Party Presidential Debate.

“There was a disconnect in last night's debate that independents couldn't help be stung by.  The debate took place in Nevada, a state that holds presidential caucuses that are closed to independent voters, even though we are 27% of the electorate here.  Bernie Sanders says millions have to rise up, but he won't call for our inclusion.  Hillary Clinton says she is a progressive who gets things done, but the partisan structure of elections and Congress make it impossible.  What's her plan for reform?”


“Next debate?  Let's find a moderator who is at least willing to observe that 2 of the 5 candidates on the stage are or were independents.  And let's make sure the candidates have to share their view on why so many in our country - 45% - don't align with any political party and what they plan to do to fix the system in order to include us.”


Trumps Non-Loyalty Oath: The Question of Independents. "Trump is a bump..." writes Jackie Salit in her latest oped in the Huffington Post. "By contrast, the independent movement is here to stay." Read more.

XXX 0415_HILLARY_AT_KIRKWOOD_02.JPG

Are Voting Rights for All Voters? Let's Ask Hillary.

Hillary began her campaign kickoff week with a speech at Texas Southern University. Her theme was voting rights... what was missing from it: the rights of independent voters and the need to reform the primary system to make it inclusive and nonpartisan. 

Read more



The 2015 National Conference of Independents took place on Saturday, March 14th at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Five hundred independent voter activists attended the day long conference which opened with this musical/visual tribute to the fight for demoracy.

CSPAN BROADCASTS HERE


A slide show of highlights can be viewed here.


INDIE CRUSADERS: From left: Plaintiff Rebecca Feldman; attorneys Samuel Gregory, Harry Kresky and Chad Peace; and plaintiff Mark Balsam; at U.S. Third Circuit Appellate Court. 

"Lawyers seeking election reforms told an appellate panel on Tuesday that New Jersey’s primary system is akin to the state forcing citizens to choose between two churches to practice religion. An absurd notion, attorney Chad Peace acknowledged in a Philadelphia courtroom."  So wrote the Morristown Green in reporting on the cutting edge lawsuit brought by independents and independent voter groups challenging NJ's primary system which excludes 47% of the state not enrolled in a political party.  Update: This case has been submitted via petition to the U.S Supreme Court. Read more


Independents' Day.  Ebony magazine's June issue carried this piece by Dr. Omar Ali. "We need new alliances," writes Ali "that do not simply organize themselves around either Republican or Democratic ideology but instead focus on the electoral process. A January 2015 Gallup poll shows that 43 percent of Americans self-identify as poiltcally independnt, as do 26 percent of African Americans according to a Pew Research Poll three months later." 

Read more


African American & Independents Applaud Decision Upholding South Carolina's Open Primaries. A decision by the Richmond, Virginia based Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed a decision by District Judge Mary G. Lewis from August of 2013, dismissing a lawsuit brought by the Greenville Republican Party which sought to close the state’s primary system. Read more


Politics for the People Welcomes Pulitzer Prize Winner Eric Foner.

The Cathy L. Stewart Politics for the People Book Club is currently reading Gateway to Freedom by Eric Foner. This unique book club meets quarterly via national conference call where members interact directly with the author. Cathy hosts the discussion with the author on Sunday, April 19th at 7:00 pm. In the meantime, pick up a copy of the book, and visit the Politics for the People blog for an ongoing exploration, videos and discussion of the book. More info


Our analysis of the 2014 midterm elections was presented by Jackie Salit during her bi-monthly national conference call on 11/6 entitled "Post Election Round-Up: Who Won, Who Lost and Who's Building."  Over 140 independent activists from around the country dialed in to hear her report.  Listen to a recording of the presentation here.


"With Ballot Measure 90, Oregonians can challenge the exclusion of over one third of the state's voters while, at the same time, fight rising partisanship in the Congress, and increasingly in our country. E pluribus unum, the concept of "Out of many, one," is being made meaningless by the partisan divide."  These are the opening words of a recent opinion piece published in The Oregonian titled "Oregon Open-Primary Measure an Important Part of the National Movement" authored by IndependentVoting.org's President Jackie Salit and Paul Johnson, former Mayor of Phoenix, who led the effort to bring about a nonpartisan open primary to Arizona in 2012. Read the entire editorial here .

In "No More Fergusons Means No More Partisan Manipulation," which appears in the Amsterdam News and several African American newspapers across the country, Dr. Lenora Fulani extends this challenge: "I want the Black Community to join me in helping to build the nonpartisan reform movement.  We need a nonpartisan political system that encourage, rather than represses, new coalitions and voter mobility.  This is how new and effective approaches to poverty, to police/community relations and to developing our youth can become public policy....Join me in building a national Black reformer's network."  Read Dr. Fulani's entire opinion piece here


Independent voters in Ohio protested on primary day at the Secretary of State’s office in Columbus about their status as first class taxpayers, but second class voters. The protest was part of the Voting Rights are Primary campaign being coordinated nationally by IndependentVoting.org. The Ohio action received coverage on the local ABC station and in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.


Independent Pennsylvanians founder Jenn Bullock on the streets of Philadelphia on primary day May 20th where 1 million PA voters are excluded.  She spoke with statewide columnist John Finnerty for his piece "Voters Pay for Primaries but Don't get a Say."


Voting Rights are Primary - During the primary phase of the mid-term elections, independent voter groups are protesting their second class status as voters. In Greensboro, NC, students and community members hit the streets.

Protests planned in Philly over exclusion
of independents from primary voting

WHYY 90.9 fm – Tom MacDonald

 

Group banned from voting to highlight
unfair election practices

Philadelphia Weekly – Randy LoBasso

 

Independents plan push to change
Ohio's primary system

Canton Repository - Cynthia Carpathios

 

'Elections Should Be Public Affairs'
NC Independents Protest Voting Rules

WUNC 91.5 - Jessica Jones

 

Independent voters excluded from upcoming
primary election

KOB ch 4 - Stuart Dyson


On March 5, 2014, the EndPartisanship coalition filed a lawsuit in New Jersey federal court demanding that every voter should have an equal and meaningful vote at every stage of the state-funded election process, regardless of their party affiliation or non-affiliation. See Lawsuit to Overhaul New Jersey Primary System (Morristown Green). Pictured are coalition partners with the legal team (l to r): Jeff Martson co-chair of Independent Voter Project; Harry Kresky, legal advisor; Jackie Salit, president IV.org; Samuel Gregory, lead counsel; Chad Peace, legal strategist.



Jackie Salit and Steve Peace write about their new coalitional effort -- EndPartisanship -- in A Multiple Independent Discovery in the Huffington Post. "The two of us made this simultaneous discovery, having come from very different places. One of us (Peace) is a political insider, a former Democratic Party power broker and a veteran of California's bruising legislative battles and partisan dysfunction of the 1990s. The other (me) is an outsider, an independent, a community organizer and agitator, whose resume includes the upset election of billionaire Mike Bloomberg as mayor of New York City, the left-right coalition that founded Ross Perot's Reform Party and Lenora Fulani's 1988 independent presidential run."

Fighting for Voters without Parties (the Daily Record)

Group Sues the State to Open Primaires to All ( NJ.com)

Suit to Overturn Primary System (NJhills.com). 


October 19 - Book Club for Independents Hosted by Cathy L. Stewart.

The Cathy L.Stewart Politics for the People Book Club is currently reading the book Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle Allen. Cathy will by joined by the author on the next P4P book club call on Sunday, October 19th at 7:00 pm. In the meantime, pick up a copy of the book, and visit the Politics for the People blog at for an ongoing exploration, videos and discussion of the book. More info


IndependentVoting.org president Jackie Salit was a panelist at USC Schwarzenegger Institute's annual conference on Government and Leadership.  She joined: Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause; John C. Fortier, Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Democracy Project and Dorothy Siemon, Vice President of AARP's Office of Policy Integration for this conversation focused on political reform moderated by Bonnie Reiss, Global Director of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.


We've Moved Away from Political Parties. Should Government Too?" The Bangor Daily News editorial board writes "Events in the nation’s capitol offered the perfect backdrop Monday for the Bangor visit of a group advocating for election reforms that remove the two major parties from a position of control over state and federal government elections and operations. Read the entire editorial here .

College Independents Poll.    Over the course of 8 weeks, a team of four researchers from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro led by Dr. Omar Ali, conducted a face-to-face poll at 16 college campuses across North Carolina. Three-quarters of the students who stopped identified themselves as politically independent. During the two month period of the survey, 1,246 self-identified political independents were interviewed about their views.
Read more

Sign on to the Letter to the
Presidential Commission on
Election Administration.

"We, the undersigned, are independent voters from
all 50 states. We are deeply concerned that
America’s political process is in a crisis
and that serious attention must be paid to it...
"


Independents testified at Sept. 4th, 2013 Philadelphia hearing of the PCEA. (From left to right: Dona Sauerburger, Steve Weiss, Kevin Soubly, Miriam Chaponniere, Norma Van Dyke, Brandi Martindale, Stephen Richardson, Nancy Ross, Jenn Bullock, Steve Johnson, Joe Ferraro, Greg Moohn).  Commission co-chairs Ginsberg and Bauer confer in the background.


Protect Hawaii's Open Primaries. Jacqueline Salit wrote an open letter to the people of Hawaii which appeared in the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
In it, she urged

Hawaii residents to

sign on to this letter


demanding that the Democratic Party
withdraw its lawsuit to close
Hawaii's primaries.

Obama Electoral Commission Omission: Our Voting System Needs Real Reform. 

The Daily Beast published this op ed below by Harry Kresky and Jacqueline Salit where they take a look at the state of democracy in America, the President's recent effort to address its shortcomings and what independents are doing about it. Read more.


 

Independent Voters Applaud GOP Retreat from Effort to Close South Carolina Primaries.

IndependentVoting.org, a national association of independent voters and a defender of South Carolina's open primary system, cleared an important hurdle last Friday, when the South Carolina Republican Party withdrew from a lawsuit to close the state's primary elections. Read more.


The 2013 National Conference of Independents took place on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Over 400 independent voter activists attended the day long conference which opened with this video tribute to their work publicizing the need for nonpartisan structural reform of America's political process in local and national media over the last 2 years. CSPAN coverage here. Slide show here.



Read an excerpt of Independent's Rising on Huffington Post.  Currently available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound and other major retailer sites.

Politics for the People, was founded in 2002 by Cathy Stewart as a free educational series for independent- minded New Yorkers.  On April 27th, she hosted this dialogue with former Congressman Mickey Edwards, IndependentVoting.org President Jackie Salit and a live audience, on the topic of The Parties vs. The People. The event was broadcast on CSPAN May 3rd and 4th and is can be viewed online here.

Wisconsin and California election analysis. By Harry Kresky, Esq. The Wisconsin recall campaign was, in many respects, a story about the past -- the century-long clash between labor and capital, which surely has a 21st-century post-modern form, but is nonetheless still framed as a battle between competing ideologies and organized interests. Is there a way out of that deadlock?  Read more
   

Top Two Open Primaries Initiative in Arizona.

Congratulations to Arizona's Open Elections, Open Government Coalition for filing over 365,000 petition signatures (259,000 required) with the Secretary of State to put a top two nonpartisan election initiative on the ballot. Despite it's defeat in the election, the initiative was quite controversial and a precursor for things to come. The initiative survived a legal challenge after the state supreme court overturned a lower court ruling, saying that the citizen initiative is in compliance with the Arizona Constitution and should move forward to the November ballot.

Independentvoting.org submitted an Amicus Brief. The Arizona League of Women Voters , one of the initiators of the suit, had published a "Pro/Con Report," which was largely a "con" statement. Independentvoting.org director of national organizing Nancy Ross and lead counsel Harry Kresky and Ted Downing of Arizonans for a Top Two Primary responded to the report in an Open Letter to the League. 

Listen here to Independentvoting.org President Jackie Salit in an interview with Communications Director of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy on Top-Two Proposition: What Nonpartisan Elections Could Mean for Arizona.

Pew

Research

Center

Beyond Red vs. Blue

Independents are not Moderates.  Pew Research Center released a survey last month which was encouragingly called “Beyond Red vs. Blue.”  Encouraging, that is, for the growing number of Americans eager to find a way out of the partisanship which has come to dominate public policy making at nearly every level of government.  Read more


Did Independents Make a Mark in Iowa? 
By Jackie Salit, Huffington Post. Click Here.


JS on Fox

Jackie Salit appeared  on "FOX & Friends" where she gave an independents perspective on the budget negotiations.

Salit's view that the budget crisis further exposes the need for structural political reforms, have recently been echoed by Mickey Edwards in The Atlantic  and Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post


"Ours is a system focused not on collective problem-solving but on a struggle for power between two private organizations."

Mickey Edwards
"How to Turn Republicans and
Demcorats
into Americans,"

The Atlantic, July/August 2011


Coverage of the
2011 National Conference of Independents is available online:



The Neo-Independent
Click here. 

EDITOR'S NOTE:

"What we tend to see as historic are the dramatic, the explosive--as the world bears witness to events unfolding accross North Africa and the Middle East. Historical transformations, however, take (and have taken) other forms--less perceptible in their intensity, with equally uncertain outcomes."

—Dr. Omar Ali


California Open Primary Initiative Passes. Over two million voters cast a “Yes” vote for Proposition 14 and against partisan politics. As a result, the 3.4 million "Decline to State" independent voters will have equal access to the political process. Read the full statement from the California association for independents.
 

No issue has more popularity among independents than open primaries. Open primaries allow all voters, regardless of their party affiliation, to participate in each round of voting. Learn more about the fight open primaries in the video below.

  ;


 

Tea Party activists: Don't confuse them with independents. Jackie Salit documents the history of the independent movement and how its goals are not just divergent, but diametrically opposed to that of the Tea Party movement.


     
 

Urge President Obama to Fill Vacancy on FEC with an Independent. The call for President Obama to appoint an independent to the FEC is getting louder.  In December, the New York Times published a letter to the editor from IV.org president Jackie Salit and attorney Harry Kresky in which they responded to a Times editorial, "The Election Sabotage Commission."  Read their letter here. And here to read the letter sent to President Obama by IndependentVoting.org and contact the White House and your Senators.

     

The 2015 National Conference of Independents took place on Saturday, March 14th at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Five hundred independent voter activists attended the day long conference.

CSPAN BROADCAST

The 2013 National Conference of Independents took place on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Over 400 independent voter activists attended the day long conference which opened with this video tribute to their work publicizing the need for nonpartisan structural reform of America's political process in local and national media over the last 2 years. CSPAN coverage here. Slide show here.

On February 12, 2011 hundreds of independent movement activists from 40 states gathered at a national conference in New York City to discuss that question. 

The 2011 National Conference of Independents was sponsored by IndependentVoting.org and hosted by its President, Jackie Salit who delivered this dynamic multi-media keynote address available on DVD with bonus features. Click to receive your copy

How the Independent Movement went Left
by Going Right.
 

The Untold Story of the Movement that Elected America's First Indepenent President.

Watch the video.


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