Voting Rights Are Primary Campaign Kicks Off


Independent Ohio and North Carolina Independents kicked off the Voting Rights Are Primary campaign being nationally coordinated by Jackie Salit will be speaking with the activists who led these efforts on her next conference call, Wednesday, May 28th. 
Ohio: First Class Taxpayers, Second Class Citizens


Independents picketed the Secretary of State's office in Columbus, OH on primary day May 6th, as part of the nationally coordinated Voting Rights Are Primary campaign. Cynthia Carpathios and Rick Robol of Independent Ohio led the group in protesting and talking to passersby. The Columbus ABC affiliate and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on their action. The Plain Dealer went one step further by adding a poll to their website asking readers if they supported nonpartisan open primaries.

To set the stage, Cynthia wrote a letter to the editor about the intended protest that was picked up by five newspapers and did a radio interview.  Carol McFall chipped in a letter to the editor on the broader topic of nonpartisan primaries.
 After protesting, Cynthia briefed her state representative about the need for structural reform. 

North Carolina Independents Demand Voting Rights 
North Carolina Independents mobilized a group of students from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T and community members to participate in a primary day protest starting at the historic Woolworths in Greensboro, NC where the first lunch counter sit-ins took place during the civil rights movement. They marched to the Court House with signs that read "Non-Partisan Government for the People, Not the Parties" and "First Class Taxpayers, Second Class Voters" speaking to people en route, and conducted a short survey on ways the electoral process is organized to restrict independent participation.  
In the run up to the picket WXII-TV did this news piece and WUNC radio (NPR) interviewed Dr. Omar Ali on the growth of independents in North Carolina. 


Independent Leaders to Meet in Las Vegas this Weekend

Independent voter activists from Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah will gather for a full-day Western Regional Meeting on Saturday, May 17th to develop their network and strategies for making the concerns of independents more visible. The event -- which takes place in Nevada where indies are barred from voting in the primaries -- will include an afternoon practicum on grassroots organizing with attendees hitting the streets for a Las Vegas style informational picket to showcase the discrimination independents face through the Voting Rights are Primary campaign. Catana Barnes, founder of Independent Voters of Nevada said: "We are looking forward to getting together, learning together and growing our networks together."
Calling For Open Primaries in New Mexico 

Albuquerque's ABC affiliate did this story on the exclusion of independents in the New Mexico primary after local activist Tisha Le Rose alerted her networks about the Voting Rights are Primary campaign and asked them to tell journalists about it.  Over 200 people have signed a petition posted by Le Rose on's website calling for Top Two Open Primaries in New Mexico.  New Mexican residents can sign the petition here.
More News ....
California's is on a mission to make sure that every independent in the state knows that they can now vote in the primaries. Don Adams wrote a letter to the editor published in the Auburn Journal stating, "According to polls and focus groups, 75 percent of independents still do not know that they can participate in a primary election. 
For years, independent voters were excluded from the primary process, but in 2010 voters passed the Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act."  
Full letter here.

In Wyoming, the Laramie Boomerang reports on Senator Chris Rothfuss' effort to open the debate about the current primary system in Wyoming.  Rothfuss advocates for a top two nonpartisan system. 
National Election Reform Committee in Search of a Common Cause's Election Reform Committee is undertaking a new initiative -- to reach out to leaders and members of Common Cause groups across the country in order to foster discussion about reforming the primary process.  If you are a member of Common Cause or know others who are, please email Steve Richardson at
Midterm Mashup: Bringing Independents into the Mix
Join Jackie Salit, President of,  
on a national conference call on Wednesday, May 28.
Jackie will feature on-the-ground reports from activists in North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania fresh off their primary day events
Date:  Wednesday, May 28
Time:  8pm ET, 7pm CT, 6pm MT, 5pm PT
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Gwen Mandell
Director of National Outreach

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