- Reason Awakes -

Voting Reforms: Open Primaries & Instant Runoff Voting


Approximately 40% of voters identify themselves as independents. This is an incredibly diverse group of people including those who view themselves as too left wing for the Democratic Party and too right wing for the Republican Party. It also includes centrists who, unlike us, tend to sympathize with the Democratic Party on tax and economic issues and with the Republicans on social issues.

Open Primaries

Despite their differences, all of these people share a common interest in opening up states with closed primaries to participation from independents.

Instant Runoff Elections

All independents  generally support, as we do, the concept of instant run off elections. Under this approach, voters rank the candidates from first to last. The ballots are counted by first eliminating the candidate with the least support and then recalculating until a majority candidate is elected. This approach makes it possible for voters to express their true preferences without fear that their vote will be "wasted" or help elect the candidate that they like the least.

Bias Against Running Candidates

While we support, in principle, changes in public policy, like those above, that will make it easier for third party candidates to run and be elected, we realize that this is an uphill battle. The two party system is entrenched and it is unlikely to lose its hold on American politics for the forseeable future. We are, therefore, generally opposed to running our own candidates. Instead, we hope to influence the positions taken by the candidates of the major parties and increase support for our platform positions among the voting public.


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