IVN Daily Digest -- August 12, 2014
1. Albuquerque Journal says open primaries are something Democrats and Republicans can agree on.
"More than one in five voters in New Mexico declined to state a party when registering to vote. About 38 percent of registered voters ages 18 to 24 fall into that category. And because many candidates in New Mexico face no opposition beyond the primary, the winner is often declared before independents get a chance in weigh in."
While the Journal is only advocating for "limited primary reform," the proposed reform would change the closed primary system in New Mexico to an open partisan primary system.
2. New Haven Register says Republicans should open primaries up to unaffiliated voters.
"An open primary is good for democracy. It allows for more moderate candidates to have a shot at winning the party’s nomination. That would be a positive for Republicans, as a moderate candidate is likely to be more appealing to unaffiliated voters."
According to the editorial, only approximately 30 percent of Republican voters participate in the process in Connecticut.
3. Libertarian U.S. Senate Candidate has been left out of major debates in Virginia race.
"Despite the voter support, Sarvis told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that his exclusion from the debates was influenced by the demands of his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, and his Democratic opponent, Senator Mark Warner."
Under the current system, minor-party and independent candidates struggle just for media attention to build name recognition among voters. Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is suing the Commission on Presidential Debates for excluding him in the 2012 presidential debates.
4. New York Times featured a piece on states where voting is now supposedly easier.
"At a time when many states are making it harder to vote, 16 states have provided some good news over the last year by deciding to go in the opposite direction. In various ways, they have expanded access to the polls, allowing more people to register or to vote more conveniently."
Measures to make voting easier are positive reforms, but many of the states listed have closed partisan primaries where millions of voters are denied their constitutionally-protected rights to full and meaningful access to all integral stages of the election process. In reality, many of these states have done the bear minimum and few of these reforms actually enhance the rights of voters.
5. On Monday, August 11, beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams passed away from a suspected suicide. The defense department paid their respects to a man who not only starred in military-related movies like Good Morning Vietnam, but was a strong supporter of the troops and has entertained thousands of deployed soldiers.
“The entire of Department of Defense community mourns the loss of Robin Williams,” Hagel said Monday evening. “Robin was a gifted actor and comedian, but he was also a true friend and supporter of our troops. From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform. He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DoD – so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.”