The Unfinished Work of Democracy: A Vision For 2020 Open Party Primary Presidential Elections Petition
We live in a time of great political division in our country. The grand experiment with partisan presidential elections wherein only party members may participate has divided America and Americans. The way we currently hold primary party presidential elections does not fulfill the promise—that the government’s representatives are determined by the will of the people.
We invite you to consider the following facts about partisan primary presidential elections and their failure to meet the requirements of representative democracy.
If the truth be told, political parties cannot run PUBLIC elections and government cannot run PRIVATE political party elections. If political party elections are held by the government, all voters, regardless of party affiliation, must be able to participate because voter participation is decided by geographic jurisdiction and not by party platform or ideology.
Public elections, including the presidential primaries, should be decided by voters rather than the parties. Voters should not be divided into Democrats and Republicans, or any other party, for the purpose of voting. Democrats and all other voters should be able to vote in the Republican primaries and likewise, Republicans and all other voters should be able to vote in the Democratic primaries.
There’s nothing in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution that states or implies that a voter needs to join a political party in order to vote in a public election for a given slate of primary party presidential candidates. Regardless of one’s ideology, gender, race, religion, or political party affiliation, voting is the consent of the governed. Voting in elections is the way we claim the equality promised to us in the Declaration.
Since they are part of the same election process, primary elections must meet the same requirements as the general election. Federal elections should be consistent in all the states. Therefore, the presidential primary candidates should go before the entire voting population on the same day, just like the general election. Since the presidential election is the only nation-wide federal election held in every state, it encompasses the jurisdiction of all voters.
Currently one voter receives a presidential primary ballot with one slate of party candidates and another voter from a different party receives a ballot with a different slate of party candidates. This results in primary party presidential candidates advancing from the primary election to the general election. Now these candidates are one step from the White House without ever going before the entire voting population as required in a representative democracy.
Equal voting in a federal election requires that every voter receive the same ballot with a slate of presidential candidates from every qualifying party. The consent of the governed requires a majority of the total voting population, state by state. A voter qualifies for elections as an American voter regardless of party affiliation.
The States were created free and independent but they were and still are answerable to the ideal of equality, life, and liberty. Freedom of choice is our natural right when it comes to the “consent of the governed.” It is expressed in our act of voting in all public elections.
In summary, this petition calls for OPEN primary presidential elections wherein the entire voting population, not just party members, may vote in the Republican primary, the Democratic primary and any other qualifying party’s primary. A representative democracy must hold open majority rule elections.
Therefore, we the signers do petition and call on our government and political parties to hold a primary presidential election on the same day nationwide, consistent with the general election, state by state, county by county, preferably the first Tuesday of May 2020.