A groundbreaking new report from the Open Primaries Education Fund -The Next Great Migration: The Rise of Independent Voters- lays out the dramatic increase in Americans from diverse backgrounds and politics registering to vote as independents. Our Zoom event pairs the authors of this new research with leading political figures for an engaging conversation on how to dismantle the partisan barriers that are keeping Americans apart.
Independent voters are now the largest or second largest group of voters in half the states and will be the largest or second largest group of voters in almost every state in the country within a few years at current rates of growth. Party registration is declining in both red and blue states.
Yet we continue to operate within an electoral framework--and corresponding media paradigm--that assumes that party membership is the default. This is most obvious in closed primaries but it infects all aspects of politics including redistricting, campaign finance laws and procedures, election administration and enforcement--even who is allowed to serve as a poll worker on election day.
Our election system does not reflect America. This has a profound effect on partisanship and polarization. Appreciating why so many Americans are identifying as independents--and choosing to register to vote as such despite the negative consequences--is important for political reformers, journalists, candidates and elected officials working to chart a new path forward.
Moderator: Amber Ivey (AI Decodes the System podcast)
Panelists: David Holt (Republican Mayor of Oklahoma City), Danny Ortega (former Board Chair of UnidosUS--formerly National Council of La Raza), Jeremy Gruber (Senior VP Open Primaries) & John Opdycke (President Open Primaries & Senior Advisor to the Electoral Innovation Lab at Princeton University).