Independent Voting  

 Media Update: 


This week president Jackie Salit and general counsel Harry Kresky traveled to South Carolina for an important hearing in our case defending open primaries where federal court judge Mary G. Lewis ruled in our favor in litigation pending since 2010.
SC - Walking up steps to courthouse
On steps of Donald S. Russell Federal courthouse in Spartanburg, SC (left to right): Jackie Salit, South Carolina Independence Party chair
Wayne Griffin, local counsel Fletcher Smith, Esq
and Harry Kresky, Esq.

Below is a press release and here is local coverage of the decision.

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225 Broadway, Ste. 2010
New York, NY 10007

For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2013

Contact: Sarah Lyons
212-962-1854 / 917-658-9885

Federal Judge Halts Greenville Republicans' Effort to Close Primaries:  Victory for African American and Independent Voters, a national association of independent voters and a defender of South Carolina's open primary system, hailed a federal court judge's ruling in Spartanburg today that the Greenville Republican Party did not have standing to sue to close the South Carolina primaries. In June, the State Republican Party withdrew from the lawsuit leaving the Greenville GOP as the sole plaintiff in the case which has been pending since 2010. and a coalition of defendant/intervenors argued that without the state Republican Party's involvement, the Greenville plaintiffs did not have standing. Judge Mary G. Lewis agreed and granted the motion to dismiss.

Harry Kresky, Esq., who appeared with local counsel Fletcher N. Smith, argued the standing issue on behalf of the intervenors and said, "Today's ruling was a setback for the Greenville faction of the South Carolina Republican Party which hoped to use the court to strengthen its influence in the state party. The voters would have paid a price."

Jacqueline Salit, president of which assembled the defendant/intervenor coalition said, "Political crossfire inside the Republican Party gave rise to this lawsuit but African American and independent voters would have been the big losers if the primaries had been closed as a result."

State Representative Joe Neal, part of the defendant/intervenor coalition added, "Today the South Carolina federal court has upheld the rights of voters in South Carolina, especially the minority community, to free and unfettered access to the polls."

Salit added "The common interest between African American and independent voters is becoming pivotal in the next wave of voting rights struggles in America."

In addition to, the coalition of defendant/intervenors included: thirteen members of the South Carolina Black Legislative Caucus, the South Carolina Independence Party, the Progressive Network, the Constitution Party and the Columbia Tea Party.

"South Carolinians have always been fiercely independent.  As an intervenor, I am proud that we stopped the Republican Party from closing our state's primary elections," stated Wayne Griffin chair of the South Carolina Independence Party.

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