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Beyond the Echo Chamber: A Roundup of Nonpartisan Election News -- October 7, 2015

by Jeff Marston, published

The latest headlines on nonpartisan voting rights from across the nation. Enjoy.

Young, Independent Voters Denied Full Access to Elections in Pa.

Source: John Finnerty, The Herald

My Take: From a state calling out more and more for an open primary, a bit of in-depth reporting about the effect on young voters who are more than likely to register as independents.


Insight Kansas: More Voters, Better Representation

Source: Burdett Loomis, Hays Post

Loomis, a political science professor at the University of Kansas, writes a piece challenging Kansas to increase voter turnout three ways.

My Take:  Good rationale on these three, one of which is going to the top two nonpartisan primary where California is cited.


Op-Ed: New Mexico Needs Open Primaries in 2016

Source: Bob Perls, Albuquerque Journal

My Take: Perls, a former NM Democratic state representative, is also the founder of New Mexico Open Primaries. He discusses issues relating to redistricting, voter registration, and voting -- and opening up the process to allow everyone to participate while at the same time reducing partisanship.


Power To The People: Alaska Should Return To Open Primaries

Source: Joe Hardenbrook, Alaska Dispatch News

My Take: This is a really good read. The history gets a little folksy in explaining Alaskans and why the closed primary is so unlike their nature but it flows really well. Great political background information about a state most of us in the “lower 48” know little about.


Jesse O’Hara: Reject Party Bosses’ Efforts To Limit Voter Choice / State Rep. Essmann Offers Rebuttal On Closed Primary Issue

Sources:  Former State Senator Jesse O’Hara/State Representative Jeff Essmann, The Montana Standard News

My Take: Another page from the on-going book that is the Montana GOP’s admitted effort to keep those not philosophically pure out of the party and legislature. An interesting comparative read. Stay tuned.


From Grassroots Movement To Major Party:  A Brief History Of The Independent Party Of Oregon

Source:  Sal Peralta, IVN News

My Take: For people like me who wondered what the Independent Party stands for, this is an excellent read. Sal Peralta is the state Party Secretary and does an excellent job of making their case, while addressing issues that may very well challenge the party’s future.


Behind Late Session Defeats For Big Policies, You’ll Find The Mistakes Of Reformers / Policy, Not Election Reform, Determined Outcome Of Major Bills

Sources:  Joe Mathews/Joel Fox, Fox & Hounds

My Take: A really interesting read. Two well respected political writers who see the legislative results from very different points of view with both pointing to the nonpartisan, top-two primary in very thought provoking ways.

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