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DNC Commission Blasted for Not Backing Open Primaries

Created: 11 December, 2017
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

New York – Today Open Primaries, a non-partisan electoral reform organization, condemned the Democratic Party’s Unity Reform Commission (URC) for its inaction on opening primary elections nationwide.

The URC was established at the 2016 Democratic Convention in response to voters’ frustration with the 2016 election season and the conflicts between supporters of candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton. It was tasked with offering recommended rule changes to the DNC Rules Committee ahead of the 2020 presidential primaries.

“73% of Democrats (and 70% of all Americans) want open primaries. The DNC has the legal authority to open up the presidential primaries in all 50 states. But the Party leadership on its “Unity Reform Commission” isn’t listening to them or the rest of the country and, as a result, today has missed a historic opportunity to make the Democratic Party more democratic," says John Opdycke, president of Open Primaries.

"No wonder 45% of Americans, including 50% of millennials, now identify as independents. The political parties, time and time again, ignore the voters – 26.2 million of who were shut out of the 2016 presidential primaries – in favor of insider and special interests. The Democratic Party is not only ensuring that the 2020 presidential primaries will be as rigged against the voters as they were in 2016, but they are losing an entire generation of voters as well."

He adds, "The time has come to take these decisions out of the hands of the parties. The American taxpayer pays for the primaries, but isn’t in control of their own elections. What does it say about the state of our democracy when you can’t vote for who you want in America today?”

Open Primaries presented the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission with over 100,000 petition signatures —urging the Democratic Party to adopt open primaries in all 50 states ahead of the 2020 primary season.

Photo Credit: Mark Van Scyoc / shutterstock,com