Advocating for open primaries at both the statewide and national levels
Question: How do closed primaries weaken our democracy? Answer: They produce elected officials who are more accountable to their party than their constituents, they restrict participation while also reinforcing division, and they exclude independent voters (who are the largest, fastest-growing sector of the US electorate).
Voter turnout in the Sooner State is abysmal; only about 55% of all eligible voters in Oklahoma actually filled out a ballot in the November 2020 election...the lowest statewide turnout percentage in the nation. What can be done to fix this? One solution might well be open primaries, and it's not surprising that more and more states are adopting some sort of open primary system. We have two guests on ST to discuss the issue. The first is Tulsa-based Margaret Kobos, founder of the grassroots Oklahoma United for Progress movement; she began this movement's UnmuteOK signature-gathering campaign in order to promote discussion, awareness, and potential legislation for an open primary system. (You can find Oklahoma United for Progress online here.) Our other guest is Jeremy Gruber, the Senior Vice President of Open Primaries, which is a national coalition-building initiative working to help enact open primaries in all fifty states. (As noted at the Open Primaries website: "No American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote.")