Thursday, April 28, 2022

Open Primaries Major Advances In 1st Quarter 2022

Open Primaries first quarter: had critically important New Developments, in both long-running and emerging Campaigns, successfully Defeating Closed Primary efforts in multiple States, and a successful Annual Campaign that has helped position them for the year ahead.

Here is a snapshot of Local and State Campaigns, Debates, and Political Fights happening across the Country, to engage and transform our Primary Election systems:

Maine - Legislature Votes to Fund Open Primaries Bill and now waiting for Governor Janet Trafton Mills (D) Signaure.

350,000 Independent Maine Voters are very close to being able to finally participate in the 2024 Primaries after both Chambers of the Legislature authorized $250,000 to Fund the Open Primaries Bill, pass last year. The Bill originally passed on a significant Bipartisan Vote, with sizable numbers of Republicans joining with a Majority of Democrats to pass the Bill 27-7 in the Senate and 92-52 in the House. The Bill now sits on her desk awaiting Signature.

Open Primaries have been working for over 5 years to make this happen, with a broad Coalition of Local Leaders including: Sponsors, Senators Chloe Maxin (D-13th District) and Matthew Pouliot (R-15th District), and the amazing team of Kaitlin LaCasse and Betsy Sweet at Maine Open Primaries.

Pennsylvania - Effort to Repeal Closed Primaries

Friends at Ballot PA have officially launched their Campaign to Repeal Pennsylvania's Closed Primary system:

It is time to Repeal Closed Primaries and allow every Legally registered Voter to cast a Ballot in PA’s Primary. Legislators across the Commonwealth can change this unfair Election practice by acting now to ensure Voters their right to Vote in PA Primaries.

Open Primaries is a Founding Supporter of this effort, which is quickly gaining momentum. Last week the PA Senate State Government Committee held a Hearing to discuss Legislation, SB 690, to Open PA’s Primaries to ALL Pennsylvania’s 1.1 million Independent Voters. The Hearing featured Testimony in Support from Bill Co-Sponsors Senators Dan Laughlin (R-49th District) and Maria Collett (D-12th District), Statements from former Party Chairs Alan Novak (R) and TJ Rooney (D), Independent Pennsylvanians Leader Jenn Bullock, and Campaign Leader David Thornburgh.

The Hearing also featured a powerful Endorsement for Open Pprimaries, from Rocky Bleier, Four-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Veteran of the Vietnam War, where he received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Mr. Bleier declared: “Half of all veterans identify as political independents. That veterans chose to identify as independents doesn’t surprise me–when you fight for our country and our freedom–you’re not fighting for Republicans or Democrats, you’re not on the red team or the blue team–you’re on the red, white and blue team. That’s why it’s particularly disappointing to know that independent voters are barred from primary elections in Pennsylvania. How would you explain to a young man or woman returning to their family in PA from their service in Iraq or Afghanistan that they can’t cast a vote in a primary election? It’s unAmerican. Now it’s time we do something in Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania is One of only 12 States that currently has fully Closed Primaries, so we couldn’t be more thrilled to be Supporting and Working with our friends at BallotPA to Right this Wrong.

DEFENSE - 4 months into 2022 and they have Defeated Closed Primary efforts in 3 States.


Partisan insiders in Idaho didn’t feel that Closed Primaries were Restrictive enough and made a move to try and Force the State's 300,000 Independent Voters into an Arbitrary Registration Deadline, Voter suppression pure and simple. Working with Local Groups like the Idaho 97 Project to Stop the Bill in Committee, and with Community Leaders to offer a New Vision of Open Primaries for the Gem State.

New Hampshire

In January, HB1166 was introduced to Close the Primaries and Shut-Out over 400K Independent Voters, the largest Voting Bloc in the State, the antithesis of their State motto: “Live Free or Die”

Open Orimaries organized Support and put Pressure on the Legislature to vote No! Open Primaries SVP Jeremy Gruber, appeared before the NH House Election Law Committee to oppose the Bill: “This bill would move New Hampshire backwards and suppress the vote of upwards of half a million of the state’s voters. It would render the state’s election system fundamentally undemocratic. That’s an egregious mistake.” The Bill was Voted Down in Committee.


An effort encouraged by Trump to roll back Independent Voter Registration Deadlines was introduced early this year (SF 97). Wyoming already suffers from chronic Low Voter Turnout, and any effort to strip back the Rights of Voters would have set the State back even more.

Working with Local Leaders to Oppose and Defeat the Bill, Open Primaries SVP Jeremy Gruber, helped Organize and Testified before the Wyoming State Corporations Committee, to Authorize a Legislative Study of Opening the State’ Primaries which was Approved. Open Primaries will be working with Local Leaders throughout the rest of the year, to Support this important effort.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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