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Independent groups

CUIP is motivating and training an activist network of independent leaders throughout the country who are building local chapters - like Wayne Griffin, chair of South Carolina Independence Party above.

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Update: Due to the efforts of independents who lobbied members of the South Carolina Election Subcommittee, a decision was made to send H 3230 back to committee where it is expected to remain inactive for the remainder of this year. Congratulations to Wayne Griffin -- the committee agreed to not vote on the bill until he was given opportunity to testify.

Press Release

South Carolina Legislature Entertains Bill
Eliminating Fusion Voting and Cross Endorsement

Independent Groups Call Upon Legislators,
Presidential Contenders, to Oppose

For Immediate Release:
February 21, 2007

Contact: Wayne Griffin 864-265-5740
Sarah Lyons 800-288-3201

Greenville, SC —A bill introduced into the South Carolina State House (H. 3230) that would amend state election law to prohibit fusion voting and prevent candidates from running on more than one party line, was tabled by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Two groups representing the concerns of independent voters had sent a letter raising issues about the bills discriminatory effects.

Wayne Griffin, a long time African American independent and chair of the South Carolina Independence Party and Nancy Ross of CUIP, a national organizing center for independent voters, submitted a letter to members of the Judiciary Committee.. Although the bill was expected to be voted out of committee yesterday, it was tabled instead.

Fusion voting is used in 7 states; most consistently in New York State. In 2001, Republican/Independent Mayor Mike Bloomberg received 59,000 votes—and his margin of victory—on the Independence Party line. In 2005, he received an unprecedented 47% of the African American vote, a development linked to the unique coalition forged between independent and black voters and the availability of an additional line on which black voters could cast their ballots.

“Fusion voting is critical to giving black voters new options in electoral politics,” said Griffin, a City Council member from Greer, SC.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published days prior to the mid-term elections showed 42% of American’s consider themselves independent.

The House Judiciary Committee meets on February 27th , 2007 where the bill may be revisited.

Wayne Griffin
Independence Party of South Carolina
217 E. Stone Avenue Ste. 52
Greenville, SC 29609
864-905-7521; gros@bellsouth.net

Committee for a Unified Independent Party
225 Broadway, Suite 2010
New York, NY 10007
800-288-3201; national@cuip.org
www.independentvoting.org

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Campaign Alert

A Call to Presidential Candidates to Support
South Carolina’s Independent Voters

Feburay 20, 2007

A bill introduced into the South Carolina State House (H.3230) by Rep Scarborough which restricts the rights of independent voters to participate in elections, will be voted on today by the House Judiciary Committee. Bill H.3230 amends state election law to prohibit fusion, or cross-endorsement, and prohibits a candidate from running on more than one party line.

The South Carolina Independence Party is mobilizing independent voters to defeat the bill. We call on each of the 2008 presidential candidates to speak out against this legislation and on behalf of independents.

Bill H .3230 would disempower independent voters at a time when independents are an increasing constituency in the state. This year alone, two new independent parties have qualified for the ballot, and while South Carolina does not have partisan registration, the number of Americans who consider themselves independent is at 42%.

Fusion is a popular avenue though which independent voters can participate in the political process and also make their distinctive voices heard. When major party candidates have the support of a minor party – which fusion allows them to do – it allows voters to cast a vote for a particular candidate while at the same time expressing their particular agenda and voice.

In New York, fusion has been practiced successfully by major and minor parties. When voters cast ballots for Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City on the Independence Party line, they were not only voting for Bloomberg, they were affirming that they wanted nonpartisan government and continued political reform.

A vote in favor of H.3230 by the Judiciary Committee would be an indication of disrespect for independent voters. The bill is an effort by the major parties to discount the importance of independents. The South Carolina Independence Party, a ballot status party for 12 years, and its chair Wayne Griffin, call upon all presidential candidates to speak out in opposition to this bill, and go on record in support of independent voters.

Wayne Griffin
Independence Party of South Carolina
217 E. Stone Avenue Ste. 52
Greenville, SC 29609
864-905-7521; gros@bellsouth.net

Committee for a Unified Independent Party
225 Broadway, Suite 2010
New York, NY 10007
800-288-3201; national@cuip.org
www.independentvoting.org

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