In a political climate where finding common ground is increasingly difficult, I have found one thing that resonates with individuals across the political spectrum: Our existing two-party system is broken and does not adequately serve us as citizens.

One fracturing force behind this is the closed, two-party primary system, which excludes non-enrolled (aka independent) voters from participation lest they relinquish their identity as independents and submit to enroll as either a Democrat or a Republican. This barring of over one-third of registered Maine voters from participation in primaries funded by their own tax dollars only fuels two-party extremism. It relegates disproportionate power to each party’s base, pushing Democratic primary candidates further left and Republican primary candidates further right. Come November, then, many citizens are forced to hold their nose and choose one of two polarized sides –neither of which really speak to or for them.

One step toward building a government more responsive to its citizens than to its political parties is to empower Maine’s rich history of independent thinking and electoral inclusion and open up primary voting to independent voters. A bill, aimed at doing exactly this, is being considered currently by the Maine Legislature. Please join me in urging all legislators to vote in favor of L.D. 231, An Act To Establish Open Primaries.

To learn more about this bill, please visit openprimariesmaine.com and/or follow the Open Primaries Maine page on Facebook. To find your state legislators, you can look them up here: maine.gov/portal/government/edemocracy/voter_lookup.php.

Jeremy Lynch
Gorham

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: