WI, Wisconsin Group for an Independent Voice (WiGiv)
National Conference Call for Independents. Every six weeks, CUIP president Jacqueline Salit hosts America's largest ongoing national call for independents. She provides updates about what independents are doing around the country and how the movement is growing. Get connected, hear updates.
Listen to this interview with Jackie Salit as she talks about how independents will be inserting our voice into the midterm elections. To join in on the action, contact Gwen Mandell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Election Reform Committee of IndependentVoting.org has released a report entitled"How to Mobilize and Engage Independents in Your Network" to capture what they learned in the process of organizing independents to participate in the lobbying effort directed at the President's Commission on Election Administration. "We hope that in this report we have captured key lessons in a way that other independent activists all over will find useful," said Steve Richardson, chair of the Committee. The PCEA concluded its process by issuing a set of recommendations to President Obama which notably made no mention of independents.
Bob Friedman, Mark Bodenhausen and Lorna Lindsey (l to r) of Independent Alabama at the Edmund Pettis Bridge march organized by Reverend Sharpton commemorating the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.
Bob said,"There is an historic bond that ties African Americans and independents together.That bond is based on our shared belief that our democracy must work for everyone, not just the powerful, not just the parties—but for the people! "
Independent Arizona Continues to Fight for Top Two!
The Top Two Open Primary Initiative, Prop 121, lost in Arizona by a margin of 33% to 67%. We congratulate the 473,000+ voters who voted for the initiative.
This is just the beginning of the fight for Top Two. A significant coalition of Democrats, Republicans and Independents came together in support this nonpartisan reform effort and lay the basis for a future fight for nonpartisan elections. Independent activists are using this opportunity to build their organization. If you are interested in participating, please contact email@example.com.
Florida Independent Voting.org was formed by a dozen activists throughout Florida in March 2012 and is coordinated by Duane Pike in Tampa and Choice Edwards in Clermont.
Says Pike, "We now have spokespeople in numerous cities throughout Florida and have developed materials to help in our efforts to contact representatives, write editorials and media requests and build independent organization in Florida. We urge you to be part of our exciting and important campaign for open primaries here in Florida."
Florida Independent Voting.Org is now a Florida Political Action Committee and has received Approval for its Top Two Open Primary Initiative Petition #12-3 from the Florida Department of State. A petition drive is underway to have this placed on the 2014 Ballot for a Constitutional Amendment. For more info, go to Florida IndependentVoting.org's website.
Idaho Independents Fight to Keep Primaries Open. Mitch Campbell, founder of the American Independent Movement of Idaho, is the initiator of a legal action on behalf of independent voters in his state whose ability to vote in open primaries has been threatened by a Republican Party lawsuit seeking to force the state of Idaho to close its primaries and institute partisan voter registration. While the Judge ruled against independents in the first round, AIM and Independentvoting.org have appealed the case and a campaign to raise funds and to reach out to Idaho independents for phase 2 is underway. Read more
Independent Kentucky continues the fight for open primaries and political reform. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. or you can find Independent Kentucky here to follow Independent Kentucky's ongoing fight to pass open primary legislation.
IK now has its own IK-Live UStream station where you can check out their latest statewide meeting. On the last broadcast, IK Chair Michael Lewis spoke about the organization's 120/120 campaign where they are looking to get 120 signatures in each of the Commonwealth's 120 counties. IK also began phone bank events to reach out to independents around the state.
If you are a concerned Maine citizen looking to challenge the dominance of the parties over the process and want to get involved, contact Joe Pickering at email@example.com.
Check out video of forums Joe, along with the Bangor League of Women Voters and Bangor Public Library organized, the first, September 30, 2013 which featured prominent independents, including IndependentVoting.org's Jackie Salit and the second (October 2013) and third (May 2014) asked leaders of the parties to address thh issues of independent voters.
Massachusetts Coalition of Independent Voters is an association representing independents who make up 51% of registered voters. MCOIV spent the summer on the streets of Boston collecting postcards in support of Congressional Hearings and then used their muscle to meet with Congresspersons Capuano and staffmembers of Senator Brown. Read Evelyn Dougherty's Letter to the Editor in The Jewish Journal, which also ran in the Taunton Gazette here. For more info on MCOIV contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Catana Barnes of Reno is the leader of Independent Voters of Nevada (IVON). Nevada is a closed primary state. Barnes is currently calling independents across the state and polling them. The open primary petition can be downloaded here or sign the petition online here
The Concord Monitor printed a letter from the newly-formed New Hampshire Independent Voters to Governor John Lynch urging him to veto Senate Bill 129. This bill, similar to bills that have recently passed in a number of states, would require all voters to present government-issued photo identification in order to vote. The letter was written by Sue Erickson (Concord)and signed by Committee members Bill Nichols (Grantham) and Pat Spaulding (Rye). You can read the letter in full here
Tisha Le Rose, leader of Independent Voters of New Mexico is organizing support for a campaign to push for top two open primaries in New Mexico.
"Partisanship and gridlock characterize policy making at both state and federal levels of government. 21% of NM registered voters are not registered to either party (18% are decline to state/independent voters). Closed primaries serve the interests of the political parties and not the people. Top two nonpartisan primaries put the power where it belongs - WITH THE PEOPLE.
In this system, all candidates appear on one ballot in the first round of voting and all voters participate. The top two vote getters go on to the general election. Top Two primaries empower independents and make it likely that candidates will have to campaign and be responsive to the voters, not just the party leadership.
Sign the petition and email Tisha to find out how you can participate in Independent Voters of New Mexico at email@example.com.
North Carolina Independents are holding a series of forums, including the recent one at UNC-Greensboro. Dr. Omar Ali (Assoc. Prof of African American & Diaspora Studies & History, UNC-Greensboro) and Donna Moser authored an op ed Declaration of Independents. Ali was quoted in a Guilford College Newspaper, Politics Are Not Red or Blue and has been a regular on CBS News (here he discusses the disconnect between Americans having the right to vote and voters not excercising that right). And the latest - Moser was interviewed by Yahoo News! in Up for Grabs: North Carolina's New Role as a 2012 Swing State. North Carolina Independents which represents the 1.5 million unaffiliated voters is involved in a variety of activities to call for hearings on the biases of independents and to increase to the registration (and voice) of unaffiliated voters in NC. If you'd like to get involved, email NCI at NC.Independents@gmail.com or check out their website
Independent Ohio has launched a petition calling for the enactment of a non-partisan open primary system. The petition says "Under Nonpartisan Open Primaries, voters will no longer be labeled as
party members simply because they voted in a primary election, or be
forced to sign a loyalty oath if they want to change which party primary
they vote in." Sign the petition online or download the petition here. For more information, contact IndependentOhio@gmail.com or visit Independent Ohio's website.
Independent Pennslyvanians. Led by Jennifer Bullock, Independent Pennsylvania continue to fight for open primaries. Read articles in The Philadelphia Weekly and NewsWorks on IPA's informational pickets highlighting independents' exclusion from the process. For more information on Independent Pennsylvania go to Independent Pennsylvania and take the PA Citizen Survey
52 South Carolina Independents signed on to a letter to the editor supporting efforts by a coalition of forces including Independentvoting.org, South Carolina Independence Party (led by Wayne Griffin, left with CUIP attorney Harry Kresky) and 13 local elected officials to keep the primaries open. The coalition intervened on the Republican Party's attempt to have the primaries closed and Judge Michelle Childs ruled in favor of keeping the primaries open. Congratulations to all!
In open primaries fight, one down and one to go. Kim Wright, the founder and chair of South Dakota Voice of Independents, has been working tirelessly for open primaries in a state where the legislature leaves it up to the parties to decide whether to welcome independents or keep them out. In October of last year, the Democratic Party voted to open its primaries to independents beginning in 2011. In "Finally, a seat at the table" in the Rapid City Journal, Wright called upon the Republican Party to follow suit, but the GOP let the 12/31 deadline pass without changing its closed-door policy. Read Wright's letter to the editor in the Rapid City Journal. Read more
On Independentvoting.org's October 12 conference call, Jackie Salit urged participants to "Write to President Obama"
110 people wrote letters in the week leading to the Midterm elections. Read the letters here. You can still write your letter today! Find out what Salit said and where to send your letter here
The national Coffee Party held its first convention in Louisville, Kentucky the weekend of September 24-26 entitled Restoring American Democracy and Independentvoting.org was invited to be a sponsor of the event by Coffee Party founder Annabel Park. Michael Lewis of Independent Kentucky and Gwen Mandell, national coordinator of Independentvoting.org conducted a workshop on “The Rise of Independent Voter.”Read More
Newly independent elected officials go to work for political reform. Joelle Riddle (top left), a County Commissioner in La Plata, Colorado, decided that she could serve her constituents most effectively as an independent. So the former Democrat changed her registration - only to find she couldn't run again as an independent because state law requires that would-be candidates who re-register must have done so 18 months in advance of the election. Riddle filed a lawsuit challenging the law; she also turned to State Representative Kathleen Curry (bottom left), then Speaker Pro Tem of the House, asking her to sponsor legislation that would level the playing field. Curry re-registered as an indy too! Read the joint amicus brief filed by CUIP and Riddle in support of State Curry’s appeal which seeks relief from discriminatory deadlines imposed on
independent candidates (along with the press release announcing it) and an article about Riddle's efforts in the Durango Herald. Independent Voters for Colorado, launched a petition drive calling for non-partisan open primaries (Top Two).
Independents at Claim Democracy Conference. Harry Kresky (pictured on right with US Term Limits and Initiative & Referendum champion Paul Jacob) led a workshop on the subject of fusion-voting and the Independence Party experience in NY at a conference on political reform sponsored by FairVote and 60 other organizations. Read more.
2007 National Conference of Independents. Hosted by CUIP political director Jackie Salit, 500 independents from 31 states gathered in New York City for a day long event featuring an in-depth look at how independents can increase visibility and influence in the political process.