Independent Voter Project
What is the Legal Strategy?
The Independent Voter Project's legal strategy is the first organized effort to defend and promote the principle that every voter is entitled to an equal right of meaningful participation in the election process, whether or not they chose to affiliate with a political party.
“Every elected representative’s first obligation should be to people … not to political parties.” - Independent Voter Project
Since Watergate, the dominant approach towards political reform has focused on campaign finance. This approach has failed to improve our politics because it does not challenge the systemic hyper-partisanship that is the inevitable byproduct of the partisan election systems.
The two dominant political parties have worked together for decades, in courtrooms and in state legislatures, to manipulate election laws to protect the power of partisan insiders at the expense of individual voters.
Today, over 90% of elections in America are decided in low turnout primaries. This disenfranchises independent voters and encourages politicians to ignore the broader public interest in favor of narrow, entrenched partisan interests.
A coalition of organizations supporting the lawsuit promote the principle that elections should treat every voter the same. This coalition will focus on legal and political strategies designed to challenge laws, customs and practices that place the rights of political organizations above the rights of individual voters.
What is the goal of the legal strategy?Answer:
The goal of the Legal Strategy is threefold:
- To catalyze election reforms so that every voter, regardless of party affiliation or non-affiliation, can participate in a meaningful manner.
- To educate the electorate about the root cause of partisanship and elevate the level of discourse surrounding good government reforms.
- To give individual activists the tools and support necessary to promote nonpartisan reforms on a local level.
Who started the Independent Voter Project legal strategy and why?Answer:
The legal strategy campaign was started by the Independent Voter Project and IndependentVoting.org, two organizations that come from opposite sides of the country with a common goal: to open up the electoral process to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.
The coalition brings together organizations from across the political spectrum for the exclusive purpose of ending party control of our elections and protecting the voting rights of all voters.
What is your plan?Answer:
To conduct a national, state-by-state legal strategy that challenges the Constitutionality of private partisan primary systems which deny Americans their fundamental right to a meaningful vote.
This legal strategy will be paired with a public education strategy and grassroots organizing effort. The purpose of the effort is to create a playing field, political environment, and organizational platform for every individual voter to have a meaningful vote
Who is funding the Independent Voter Project's legal strategy?Answer:
The initial funding for the Independent Voter Project's legal strategy has been provided by John Moores Jr.
The first lawsuit in New Jersey has been managed by a general partnership between the Independent Voter Project and IndependentVoting.org, two 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations.
The Partnership will strive to produce the highest level of transparency, but will honor requests for anonymity so long as donations are given without consideration of any kind other than support of the purpose outlined in the legal strategy.
The legal campaign will conduct fundraising efforts to target:
(1) large donors who are interested in good government efforts
(3) small donors through online and direct fundraising efforts
(4) sponsorships of and tickets to events and
(5) voting membership dues.
What do the Republicans and Democrats think of your plan? Will they support it?Answer:
Our goals are truly nonpartisan. The leadership of all parties is likely to oppose our plan because it reduces institutionalized power. We expect broad support from individuals within and outside of all parties who recognize the value that accountability and authenticity can offer both the political process and the ability of representatives to govern effectively, regardless of their party affiliation.
What do third parties and independents think of your plan?Answer:
Independents tend to love what we are doing. Ironically, a lot of third party leaders and messengers have accepted the carefully crafted talking points handed down by Republican and Democratic Party pollsters, painting the efforts of our founding organizations as “anti-choice.” However, most of these third party advocates have not only changed their position, but offered their sincere support when fully informed of the purpose, goals, and practical consequences of our plan.