We, the undersigned, are independent voters from all 50 states. We are deeply concerned that America’s political process is in a crisis and that serious attention must be paid to it.
We are glad that President Obama has formed a commission to look at some of the defects in the electoral process, though we feel the narrow mandate of the Commission falls short of the public debate we need to have. One example of these shortcomings is that there are specific defects that affect independent voters which the Commission does not seem prepared to address. With 40% of Americans now identifying as independent, this should be a Commission priority.
Independents are not accorded the same courtesies and privileges as members of political parties, such as receiving mailed ballots at home or having the right to serve as poll workers on Election Day. During primary season, where some states permit us to vote, we come face to face with poll workers who do not understand their own rules and frequently misinform us about our voting rights. We have no representation on the Federal Elections Commission or Boards of Elections, and are often required to register to vote as “unenrolled” or “undeclared” voters, not as the independents that we are. In many states, we are barred from primary voting altogether, even though we – as taxpayers – finance those closed party primaries.
As you go about your work to identify and recommend improvements to the voting experience, we urge you to recognize that the American people want a more non-partisan form of politics at every level. Please use the power the President has given you to be open and responsive to this need!