Let Colorado Vote Passes Two Primary Reform Initiatives; Vote Yes on V Comes Close to Upending the Establishment in South Dakota

Voters in two states challenge party control of elections

NEW YORK--()--Open Primaries applauds the voters of Colorado and South Dakota for the strong statement they made in support of voter empowerment.

Coloradans voted to open their primary elections to give the 1.3 million voters who identify as independents, 37% of registered voters in Colorado, a voice. South Dakotans surpassed all expectations and came within less than 40,000 votes of passing a ballot measure that would completely “de-partisanize” the state’s primary system.

“The presidential election is over. But the work to reengineer our electoral process has just begun. The people of South Dakota and Colorado took the lead this year at a time when the American people are just beginning to draw a connection between how the primaries work and why Washington doesn't. Fixing our political system is firmly on the national agenda, and that must include allowing all voters to participate equally. The voters of Colorado and South Dakota have made sure of that,” said John Opdycke, President of Open Primaries.

In Colorado, voters passed two separate open primaries initiatives put forward by Let Colorado Vote, whose Chairman, Kent Thiry, had this to say in victory: “This is a big win for democracy in Colorado. By passing both propositions 107 and 108, Colorado's voters have proven once again the wisdom of government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

“This movement to empower voters will not be defined by any single election or event, and we pledge to continue to fight for the future of South Dakota and America,” said Vote Yes on Amendment V Chair Rick Knobe, an independent and former Mayor of Sioux Falls.

Voters pass 2 of 3 open primaries measures

  • Colorado: Proposition 107 creates a presidential primary and allows independent voters to participate. It passed by a vote of 64% to 36%.
  • Colorado: Proposition 108 makes state and federal party primaries open to all voters. It passed by a vote of 52% to 48%.
  • South Dakota: Amendment V, which creates a nonpartisan “top two” open primary for all state and federal primaries lost by a vote of 55% to 45%.

Both Let Colorado Vote and Vote Yes on V featured prominent Democrat, Republican and Independent leaders who came together to show voters that primary reform is about empowering the people, not giving one party an advantage over another.

The need for primary reform entrenched itself into voters’ consciousness during the deeply flawed presidential primary process. 26.3 million independent voters, including almost half of all millennial voters, were barred from voting in presidential primaries this year. Millions more registered Democrats and Republicans were prevented from voting for the candidate of their choice despite paying for the primaries with their tax dollars-to the tune of over a quarter of a billion dollars1 in closed primary states. Recent polling by the Associated Press2 and NBC3 shows a majority of Americans now support open primaries.

“Americans are angry and tired of the kind of establishment politics that divides us up between the political parties. We need a new way forward, and that starts by bringing thoughtful Republicans, Democrats and independents together to reclaim our democracy for ALL the people,” said Jeremy Gruber, Senior Vice President of Open Primaries.

About Open Primaries

Open Primaries is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization working to enact open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters, train and support spokespeople, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primaries coalitions. Open Primaries is a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote. More information about Open Primaries, its mission and work, can be found at http://www.openprimaries.org/.

Let Colorado Vote: https://letcovote.nationbuilder.com/

Vote Yes on V: https://voteyesonv.org/

1 http://www.openprimaries.org/taxpayer_costs_of_closed_primaries
2 http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/HTML%20Reports/the-frustrated-public-americans-views-of-the-election-issue-brief.aspx
3 https://www.scribd.com/doc/314994116/NBC-News-SurveyMonkey-Toplines-and-Methodology-5-30-6-5?secret_password=7Gd4q5ALnQ2XayP032YU


Open Primaries
Jeremy Gruber, 609-610-1602
Senior Vice President

Release Summary

Coloradans voted to open their primaries, passing Propositions 107 & 108, while South Dakota almost passed Amendment V, a “top two” open primary proposal.


Open Primaries
Jeremy Gruber, 609-610-1602
Senior Vice President