Time to 'open' New York's primaries
Apr 20, 2016 | 17009 views | 0 0 comments | 814 814 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This week, New Yorkers who decided to self-identify in the past as either loyal to the Republican Party or the Democratic Party got to participate in Democracy. Unless you lived in a district with a special election, you were asked to stay home. That's just not right.

There are a number of reasons one would not want to identify with a party. First, simply not everyone sees every issue along a partisan line.

It's easy to see how someone could want the government out of big industries like health care, but at the same time be fine with the Freedom of Marriage Act. Or why someone would believe that climate change is a real threat, but also want their religious liberties protected.

By identifying with a political party, you're making a blanket stance on your beliefs and you're also opening yourself up to more phone calls and pleas from that party for volunteer work or donations to every campaign.

So just because a resident of Queens or Brooklyn didn't self-identify last October before the primary election campaigns had even really begun, they couldn't vote on Tuesday? That's absurd. It's time for New York to adopt an open primary.

New York City, the most diverse place on the earth, needs to take the lead for the state on this. For once, New York had a real stake in who we'll vote for in November and no matter the outcome, people will be clamoring for years about their inability to vote.

Voting should be easy for everyone that wants to participate. Elected officials and serious political wonks always lament low voter turnout, but when it's near impossible to understand the restrictions, regulations and deadlines, it's no wonder more people, especially in low-income communities, don't go to the polls.

This was a huge missed opportunity for New York and hopefully elected officials learn from it.
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