Please Read Oz’s email below.
January 10, 2020
Honorable Nancy Wyman
Chair – Connecticut Democratic Party
Honorable J.R. Romano
Chairman – Connecticut Republican Party
Dear Nancy and J.R.:
I am working with SAM (Serve America Movement), a national political organization that is in the process of organizing a comprehensive effort to reform the election process in Connecticut focused on open public primaries, ranked-choice voting, and term limits. I write on behalf of the over 979,400 voters in Connecticut (41.2% of all voters) who are registered as “unaffiliated” to request that the Connecticut Democratic and Republican Parties open their respective April 28th Presidential primaries (and all subsequent primaries) to all unaffiliated voters as expressly authorized under Connecticut election law, Section 9-431(a).
As you know, the primaries of both major parties are currently open only to voters registered in the parties even though the primaries are funded by all Connecticut taxpayers and not merely by those who are registered in the Democratic and Republican parties. Such inequitable exclusion of almost one million voters is entirely a matter of choice by the parties given Connecticut law.
Simply stated, it is critical that all unaffiliated voters have the opportunity to participate in the selection of one of the two major party candidates who will appear on the November 3, 2020 ballot. The two State political parties must therefore exercise their authority to permit all unaffiliated voters to vote in the taxpayer funded primaries on April 28th.
We recognize that, under the calendar published by the Office of the Secretary of State, a voter can “transfer enrollment from one party to the other” by January 28th. Similarly, a voter who is not affiliated with any party as of January 28th can “enroll in a party” by April 23rd (or by April 27th for “in-person enrollment”) for the purpose of voting in one of the two Presidential primaries.
Apart from the unnecessary and undue burden and risk that these deadlines and procedures place on voters, these dates, deadlines, and processes are neither well known nor understood by voters, especially those not registered in either the Democratic or Republican party. As noted above, both parties can eliminate these undemocratic burdens with a stroke of a pen.. Accordingly, we urge you and your fellow Party members to take the actions necessary to enable all unaffiliated voters to participate in the Presidential primary of their choice via either the absentee ballots that will be available on March 14th and April 7th or in person at the polls on April 28th.
We appreciate your consideration of this important request and stand ready to assist in implementing and promoting this critical step to ensure that all unaffiliated voters have the opportunity to participate in one of Connecticut’s two Presidential primaries on April 28th.
SAM-CT Task Force
Cc: Honorable Denise Merrill
Connecticut Secretary of State