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California Resolution Would Provide for a Nonpartisan “Public Ballot” Option for Presidential Primaries

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(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), and the Independent Voter Project jointly announce the filing of resolution ACR 145 in the California State assembly urging Secretary of State Alex Padilla to provide an additional, nonpartisan presidential ballot that lists all the qualified candidates so that voters – regardless of their affiliation or nonaffiliation with a major political party – have an opportunity to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice this election. The state would continue to distribute partisan primary ballots to Democratic and Republican voters. The resolution would allow for the creation of a nonpartisan “public ballot” for voters who either can’t or don’t want to vote in a political party’s primary election to participate in the presidential primary.

“ACR 145 strikes a balance between the constitutionally-protected rights of voters to select a presidential candidate – regardless of political party preference – with the rights of political parties to determine who may or may not participate in their private nomination proceedings,” Assemblymember Olsen said. “We shouldn’t be disenfranchising voters in an open primary state by not giving them an opportunity to vote for the most important office in America.”

“Every year, more and more Californians are choosing to not affiliate with a political party. We simply must provide means for those citizens to participate in our democracy and in the elections that they help to pay for,” said State Senator Cannella. “Though I am a proud Republican, I have and will continue to protect the rights of my entire constituency – regardless of their partisan affiliation or nonaffiliation. All Californians should have a voice in the political process and ACR 145 will allow that.”

Under California’s statewide elections, voters can choose to vote for any candidate, regardless of the voter or the candidate’s party affiliation. However, for the presidential election, only Republican voters can vote for Republican candidates, and independent voters (called “No Party Preference”, or “NPP” voters in California) can only vote for Democratic, Libertarian, or American Independent candidates, and only if they actively request a ballot for these parties. Voters who want to vote for a Republican candidate have to register as a Republican within fifteen days of the election to do so. Resolution 145 asks the secretary of state to exercise his authority to ensure that California voters get to vote for the candidate of their choice whether or not they register with a given political party.

The Independent Voter Project provided legal research to both legislators and the legislative analyst and had previously discussed its legal analysis with the secretary of state and his lawyers, including the issue of spending taxpayer dollars on an important stage of the public election process that is controlled exclusively by the private political parties.

If the resolution is adopted, the parties would not be required to allow nonmembers to participate in their nomination proceedings nor would they be required to consider the results of the nonpartisan primary when selecting their party nominee for president. The resolution only asks the secretary of state to create a ballot that would open the process up more to independent voters who want to participate, but also don’t want to affiliate with a political party.

“A majority of new voters are choosing not to express a political party preference. Excluding them from this important stage of a publicly-funded election process of choosing the next president is voter discrimination. The Independent Voter Project (IVP) is dedicated to protecting the voting rights of every voter regardless of political preferences,” says Dan Howle, co-chair of the Independent Voter Project.

Over the last two years, the IVP has led a coalition of nonpartisan organizations and 7 individual plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New Jersey’s closed primary system, which allows only Republican and Democratic party voters to participate, despite the state’s 47% independent voter registration. As court precedent stands today, a voter must join one of the two qualified political parties in that state as a condition of gaining the right to vote during the primary election.

IVP has expressed their intent to challenge this legal requirement in other states as part of a long-term strategy to protect the rights of every individual voter, regardless of his or her party affiliation.

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153 comments
KatBull
KatBull

Sure, you can vote BUT, will those votes be counted? In an open primary state, how is it the Republicans have a closed primary? Our vote only counts in the primaries. The general election is a popular vote as most or all electors have been appointed after the primary. Those electors are not required by any law to vote the majority preference. They can vote anyway they want. So voting in the primaries is critical if you want your nominee to win.

The two parties that rule elections are PRIVATE parties you have to join. These parties are ruled from the top down with no room for your vote. Candidates are encouraged and groomed for political office by this private group. Most superdelegates in this party are lobbyists. Go figure.

So the less people voting, the easier it is to control the outcome.

Kristi Wire
Kristi Wire

We just need to do away with the whole "party" system. It is really convoluted!!

Romey Bridges
Romey Bridges

Yes! Too many states don't let registered independents vote in the republican or Democrat primary. North Carolina is one!

Deb Brooks
Deb Brooks

REPORT WIDE SPREAD CHEATING PLEASE SHARE

C.T. Miller
C.T. Miller

Just eliminate the freakin primaries already, and let all qualified candidates run in the general election. Primaries suck - they limit the field, they give too much power to the party elites, and they are not constitutionally mandated. An open primary already exists. It's called THE GENERAL ELECTION!!!

Cesare Beccaria
Cesare Beccaria

The Electoral College system of presidential elections assures that one of the two major parties will always win.

Michael Tesauro
Michael Tesauro

Great idea , also should not have to declare a party for primary elections.or at least not have to give 55 days notice. What if you change your mind last minute? Can't vote? That's corrupt

John Prekop
John Prekop

SO VERY TRUE Arizona, Utah, New York, Pennaylvaia, Indiana, West Virginia & New Jersey America, Her Allies, Our Veterans, Citizens & Seniors Need A Non-Politician True Patriot That Wants Give Back To The Country That Made Him Great By Serving As A Strong Commander In Chief And President Of The United States Of America For FREE! He Is The Only Candidate Who Is Not Bought Paid Fore And Owned By Super Pac, Special Interest Groups & Planned Parenthood Monies! Please Register Republican & Vote For Donald He Will Make America Safe, Sane, Prosperous & Great Again By Taking Care Of Our Military & Make Us Respected & Feared Once Again!

KatBull
KatBull

Exactly how is Trump going to make America great? He has no solid plan and keeps flip flopping. He says one thing and in two days claims it isn't what he meant. Trump is feeling out his constitutes by throwing an idea out there and see if it sticks. If it doesn't, he changes his mind. No one can keep up with Trump. He has NO political experience and doesn't know when to shut his mouth. Tact is not a word he knows. He's an admitted racist simply by his comments. How can you say he's going to fix America? What has he promised you?

Marlene Marty Fowler-helfrick
Marlene Marty Fowler-helfrick

Yes. As of now, most of no party,voters are not allowed to vote in a primary. I feel that this allows manipulation in votes.

Leo Renner
Leo Renner

Yes independents should be allowed to vote for any party or candidate they want

Stephen Collett
Stephen Collett

You're wrong! Elections help lobbyists over citizens.

Chris Keniston
Chris Keniston

If it weren't for prohibitive ballot access and third party recognition laws in EVERY SINGLE STATE, none of this would be necessary. Your Republican and Democrat state representatives have crafted these laws specifically to frustrate and thwart outside competition. If you paid half as much attention to your state legislature as you do to presidential primaries, you would have better options in November.

Chris Ingalls
Chris Ingalls

AMERICA: HOME Of The COWARDS And FOOLS! You and Hillary were for invading Iraq and over 7 trillion dollars later, of your money, you want her as your president? Now she wants the women that don't support her to feel guilty which should work well for the less intelligent. Bernie knows politics and stands strong! He would best serve the American people, male and female. Money buys lobbyists, votes and politicians. This is not a Democracy and our government does not represent the will of the people.The wealthiest 1% who don't bother to vote and with 70% of Americans wealth are running the show which is why most Democrats in Washington didn't support Obama during his first term. I stand with Jimmy Carter, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, "We're governed by an Oligarchy." I also stand with Elizabeth Warren, "The average employed American was taken for $45,000 last year alone." The number of Americans living in poverty will continue to grow while the middle class will continue to shrink and working women will continue to enrich the wealthiest 1% for the next 20 years easily! Able to afford the best and brightest, Hillary is a great political actor with a well rehearsed script. She will buy her way into the White House and along with Bill become a couple hundred million dollars richer! But we mustn't forget she will throw the females a bone! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1025195424205243&set=a.230415463683247.58642.100001443855443&type=3&theater

Bernard Newcomer
Bernard Newcomer

Tax payers pay for the voting stations, the people who run them etc. why should any voter be denied.Remember both the DNC and RNC are private organizations, they should pay for the cost, not tax payers.

Cody Duncan
Cody Duncan

I am thinking the logic here is on the right track... no, of course it doesn't fit the political mold we have served for over 200 years now. Then again, shouldn't the mold serve the people?

John Strange
John Strange

Your trying to change the constitution and the tenents of voting rights being protected by one or two of them there Laws.Not no But Hell no.

Pam Wadsworth
Pam Wadsworth

This is a trap to help them get votes away from Trump. Careful what you wish for.

David Shinder
David Shinder

Great idea! I would love to see all elections decided by popular vote and not delegates or the electoral college.

Brandy Davis
Brandy Davis

Absolutely party system makes me furious

Dawn Skully
Dawn Skully

Primaries are basically a team choosing it's champion. I see no value in eliminating independent candidates before the general election.

Joe Marshall
Joe Marshall

What would this accomplish? Presidential primaries don't allow voters to vote for candidates, but rather for delegates to the party's national convention. Delegates run pledged to vote for a candidate or as an unpledged delegate. So, what would this independent ballot select?

Clayton Hinman
Clayton Hinman

It would eliminate the idiotic caucus system for one .

Joe Marshall
Joe Marshall

The proposal is for one state, California, that has primaries. What do the "independent" votes accomplish?

Sara Deatherage
Sara Deatherage

Yes, I would support a 'public ballot' option in my state. Why should we have to choose a "Party" candidate? And why should there be Party primaries when they exclude all but Democrats and Republicans? Yes, I know we can ask for a Independent or Green Party or other ballots in the general election, but the people on them are largely unknown and have little or no chance of winning, only diverting votes from the two parties.

Steve Hough
Steve Hough

The requirement to change party registration prior to a primary is more an inconvenience than a restriction, but since there is no test or loyalty pledged required, the motivation for such laws becomes obvious. There is no moral defense for such laws

Arthur Wilson
Arthur Wilson

Pro police, social security saver, border blocker, Isis stopper, economy stabilizer, middle class tax cut, trade saver, job creator, 2nd amendment supporter, self funded so no special interest favors to be granted, union supporter, a guy with the guts not to back down. And man that gives the people some hope. Vote trump.

Rita Elster
Rita Elster

I know most independents swing dem, but I swing rep most of the time. 99%. I do think we either need a no party system or a good third party, with real bona fide candidates but as I said earlier I understood when I registered for the first time as an ind, I switched from rep, I would not be able to vote in primary and luckily my guy is still hanging on. I support Kasich but will support whoever y'all select. Ty

Kim Jurincic
Kim Jurincic

#Donald Trump for President! S.E. Michigander YES I Campaign/Volunteering for TRUMP, President of the United States of America 2016!!

Donna Brown
Donna Brown

I would definitely be in favor of this type of ballot. It would give all of us a chance to vote for the candidates of our choice irrespective of Party Affiliation. The President, after all, represents All the People not just the Democrats or Republicans. So All the People need a Voice in the Selection. Maybe that way we can get rid of, or at least weaken, the gridlock that the Two Party system has us in.

Jerry Rehanek
Jerry Rehanek

HEY NITS..PICK A LANE!!!! no state should allow you toy vote in primaries

Michele Penirian
Michele Penirian

No we should have Registration for all. And all elections should be Open for all parties and non party members

Amy Shaffer Waldfogle
Amy Shaffer Waldfogle

Until this year, I have always chosen to use the "issues only" ballot in spring elections.

Cliff Sommers
Cliff Sommers

Completely unnecessary complication. Just have a single open primary with all qualified candidates on one ballot and allow people and parties to sort out their candidates unencumbered by either/or two-party gamesmanship.

Kathy Tarbox McLeod
Kathy Tarbox McLeod

Does the federal funding go to primaries or just national election. I think it is the latter. The issue might be is how candidates favored by non aligned voters would have access to the federal funding. Is a third party the only way?

Kate Gowen
Kate Gowen

When political parties become obstructions to the voters, time to change the system.

Sue Widmann Sodomin
Sue Widmann Sodomin

It's time to abolish the two party system completely. Let candidates run on a policy platform only. Let the people decide -not the party elites!

Kathy Tarbox McLeod
Kathy Tarbox McLeod

The only "right to vote" is for the general election in Nov. Primaries are, by definition, for the parties. The Electoral College delegates reflect the results of all of the votes (though I disagree with 'winner takes all"). Independents can always write in a candidate on the general election ballot. I do think it is time for a moderate middle of the road party however.

Jamison Oyler
Jamison Oyler

Why do parties receive tax money then for their primaries?

Brenda Duffey
Brenda Duffey

I want to get rid of the political party system entirely - especially the government endorsement with funding for them. All that has occurred is that we have a stalemate in Congress and the Presidential election has become no more than an election of a political party's platform that will be jammed down the throats of the American public, i.e. all the recent wars and Obamacare.

Romey Bridges
Romey Bridges

Everybody can write in a name in the general election. Independents should be able to vote in a primary of their choice. They don't even have to vote for the 3rd party candidate.