Pressuring State Chairs to Open Prez Primaries

The Eyes on 2020 campaign cabinet is amplifying the letter to DNC Chair Tom Perez by sending it with a personal cover note to Democratic State Chairs and Vice Chairs in their states.

Steve Hough, Director of Florida Fair and Open Primaries began his letter to Terrie Rizzo, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, by saying, ” As you may recall, I reached out to you during your campaign for the Chair position, for an opinion on opening Florida’s primaries to nonaffiliated registered voters (NPAs). You were opposed, and while I respect your opinion from a purely partisan perspective, the number of NPAs continues to grow nationwide (44% of Americans now consider ourselves independents). As such, and while I am still involved in the movement to open Florida’s primaries via a citizens’ initiative, I am also supporting a national movement to open the 2020 presidential primaries in all fifty states.”


Kirsten Fulda wrote on behalf of Connecticut independents, “In 2016, close to 26 million independents voters could not vote in the presidential primaries. In Connecticut, the Democratic presidential primaries are closed. The Democratic Party of Connecticut has the authority to open these primaries to independent voters.”



Independents for Arizona wrote “I was a registered Republican for over 50 years and have been a registered independent voter for the last 12. I have never been a registered Democrat, although I have voted for as many Democratic candidates as for Republican — probably more during the last 25 years. I urge you to lead the Arizona Democratic Party in allowing independent voters to vote in the 2020 Democratic Preference Election… So, why would you listen to my message? 1. It would help Democrats prevail in 2020 and that would be far better than if Republicans did and 2. It is the right thing to do because we independents are American, too. Jackie Salit’s attached letter to your National Chair underpins all of this better than I could say it.”

Kim Wright, a former independent candidate in Missouri wrote to Jean Peters Baker, the Missouri Democratic Party Chair, “Independent voters in Missouri have enjoyed the opportunity to participate in state-wide primary elections. The number of voters registering as independent continues to increase in Missouri and the nation; and yet, across the country independents are locked out of primary elections. Unfortunately, legislation was introduced this legislative session (HB26) to actually close primary elections in Missouri. We, as independent voters, strongly oppose this introduced legislation. I write to urge you to oppose this legislation as well that would change the culture of elections in Missouri by instituting partisan registration, a closed primary and decreased voter mobility. I also write today about the 2020 presidential primaries. The time has come for presidential primaries to be open to independent voters in all 50 states.”

Tiani Coleman, President of NH Independent Voters asked the DP and RP chairs in her state to take a leadership role nationally since NH primaries are open to independents:  “Will you join us in helping to open up the process in your party across the country?  We know that in New Hampshire, independent voters are valued as voters who contribute to a robust primary process.  Will you add your voice in asking Chairman Perez to make sure presidential primaries are open in all 50 states?”


In addition to Bell, Fulda and Hough, letters to party chairs and vice chairs have been sent by:

  •  Jenn Bullock – Independent Pennsylvanians
  • Randy Wilson – Independent Voice of California
  • Evelyn Dougherty – Massachusetts Coalition of Independent Voters
  • Steve Richardson – Virginia Independent Voters Association
  • Cathy Stewart / Dr. Jessie Fields – Independent Voting (New York).
  • Sue Davies – New Jersey Independent Voters

The cabinet is looking to organize offensives in all 50 states.