Every primary election cycle, Americans are inundated with political ads from Republicans and Democrats, and media coverage that focuses solely on “Team Red” and “Team Blue.” It’s no surprise that voters think they only have two choices in elections.
In a state like Kansas, independent voters and candidates are ignored in the primaries. This is because the state uses a closed primary system. Voters and candidates can only participate if they are registered members of the Republican and Democratic Parties, even though taxpayers foot the bill for these elections.
Kansas independent gubernatorial candidate Greg Orman is looking to change all of this on August 7 during the primaries. In fact, he has made the issue of limited choice and participation in taxpayer-funded elections a focal point in his campaign the last few weeks.
First, he published an op-ed about the need for a public nomination process — an “independent primary” — to increase competition and give voters unaffiliated with the parties or who don’t want to vote in the Republican or Democratic primaries greater choice.
“As long as our election process affords the two major parties and their members exclusive access to the primaries, they will continue to have a state-sanctioned, taxpayer-funded, and anti-competitive monopoly over our most sacred right — the right to vote.”
Then, Orman released the first of eight policy proposals — this one aimed at creating greater accountability and transparency in government. In it, he says that if the two private political parties want to keep their primaries closed, they need to reimburse the state for their costs.
“If they want to shut out over 30 percent of Kansans from this important stage of the electoral process – all taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for it,” he says.
Bottom line, Greg Orman says voters deserve more than two choices in elections, and a system where outside candidates can be competitive against the Republican and Democratic establishments — something that is not possible under the current system:
Now he is calling on voters to declare their independence on primary election day to draw attention to a growing movement in Kansas and the US:
“Don’t be persuaded by the naysayers who tell you the two parties are unbeatable, their grip on power too tight, that your vote doesn’t count, the fix is in before the game has even been played, and you the voters don’t actually hold all the power. You do! They don’t! And never let them forget it!” Orman states in the video.
Orman goes on to say that he, his supporters, and all the voters tired of the political status quo will build a “new and enduring majority.”
The 2018 Kansas primaries will be held on Tuesday, August 7. Independent candidates and voters are put at a severe disadvantage just three months out from the November election. However, Orman hopes to use the primaries to rally voters in Kansas who are fed up with the two-party duopoly.