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Beyond the Echo Chamber: A Roundup of Nonpartisan Election News — December 4, 2015

by Jeff Marston, published

How Independent Voters in Florida Are Reshaping Political Landscape

Source: Steve Bousquet, Miami Herald

My Take: A well-written look at today’s Florida voters, why they are registering independent--particularly first-time voters, and how issues vs. politics affects this pattern.

Party Bosses Fill Vacant Seats in NY Legislature, Not Voters

Source:  Karen Rouse/WNYC (New York)

My Take: If you’re a democracy-type person, this will make you squirm a bit. Vacancies due to political corruption, those vacancies filled by insiders, and all defended as essentially the way it has always been.

Utah Judge Strikes Down Constitutionality of Open Primaries

Source:  Chad Peace, IVN

My Take: It’s a tough to follow issue. However, this read is as good as any I’ve seen in explaining to the average person what’s happening and why. AND, it boils it down to the simple issue California dealt with in bringing forward the top-two nonpartisan primary to voters in 2010.

Arizona’s independent voters not all cut from the same cloth

Source:  Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic

My Take:  A must read/see on this topic. The results of a study by the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission on the 36% of Arizona voters with no party preference. Who votes? Why or why not? And, how and why is the state making a strong effort to encourage independent turnout?

Open primary ‘do-gooders’ push Frankenstein of a ballot schemeWill independents change Arizona politics?

Sources:  Robert Graham, Arizona Capitol Times / Robert Robb, The Arizona Republic

My Take: Robert Graham is the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. It would appear, at least by his words, that he doesn’t think too highly of anyone not of his ilk. Robert Robb has been an editorial columnist for the Republic since 1999 and an observer of Arizona politics for about four decades.

California’s ‘Motor Voter’ law in the slow lane

Source: Alejandra Molina, Orange County Register

My Take: An informative piece explaining the obstacles to implementation--including things like current rules governing what kinds of information can and cannot be shared, even between governmental agencies.

Proposed Amendments Would End Disenfranchisement of Millions of Fla. Voters

Source:  Paula Dockery, Miami Herald

My Take: Dockery, a Republican who served 16 years in the Florida legislature, offers up a very different view of a proposed nonpartisan primary than her party colleague from Arizona. She also explains how she tried to fix the loophole keeping independents from voting--unsuccessfully.

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