New york state DEMOCRATIC committee:

Open the 2018 primaries to UNAFFILIATED voters 

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Submitted by [DISTRICT LEADER]


Whereas the State of New York has some of the worst laws in the country with regard to voting, voter registration, ballot access, and campaign finance. This includes having a closed primary system and a deadline for change of party enrollment 11 months prior to state primary elections. e.g. for a voter that was not a member of the Democratic party to be eligible to vote in the primary elections expected to be scheduled September 13th, 2018 they would have had to change their party enrollment by October 13th, 2017;

Whereas New York States effectively says to voters that they must formally and legally adopt a party label, or else they will lose half of their right to vote;

Whereas many No Official Party ("NOP") voters have strong personal, philosophical, and professional reasons for their decision not to formally register with any party and these reasons should be respected, not punished;

Whereas NOP voters pay taxes to the State and Counties of New York that fund the administration of party primaries in which they have no right to vote;

Whereas we believe that to the fullest extent possible the State Democratic Party should not be complicit in such voter suppression and under the State Election Law § 5-210(5)(f) state parties have the authority to qualify voters that are not members of their party to vote in their primary elections;

Whereas building a strong coalition between Democratic and NOP voters is essential for our party's success in the 2018 midterm elections. For example in New York's 21st Congressional District there are 117,562 active registered Democrats, 82,862 NOP, and 166,296 Republicans. The sum of Democrats and NOPs total 200,424 which is a majority of voters in that district;

Whereas an effective way to build such a coalition and ensure that our nominees can win the support of NOP voters is to allow them to voice their preferences in our primaries; and

Whereas some members of this committee would prefer different solutions to this problem like a same day change of enrollment deadline, but such solutions would require action by the State Legislature and the Governor;

Now therefore be it resolved that for the foregoing reasons we the members of the [COUNTY] County Democratic Committee wish to voice our support for a change in the bylaws of the New York State Democratic Committee to allow NOP voters to vote in Democratic primaries in time for the 2018 elections and we hereby instruct our county chair and members of the State Committee for the Xth, Yth, and Zth Assembly Districts to introduce and support such an amendment at the next meeting of the New York State Democratic Committee.