From the beginning of our nation during an unbearably hot and humid summer in Philadelphia, our Founding Fathers recognized that the people should have a say in who our elected officials are and the outcome of critical questions of public policy. However, what they failed to include in the document that would become our governing blueprint for the next 200+ years was any mention of political parties. Even the framers of our nation foresaw how political factions who negatively impact our electoral process and therefore our democracy.
Manipulated districts. Corrupt campaign finance laws. Disenfranchised voters. This is what a party-centric system has led to. Parties should be responsive to voters, not the other way around. Institutional barriers, however, have greatly limited electoral competition by restricting the nonpartisan right to vote, insulating the two major parties from competition and encouraging only the two extremes to participate. As a consequence, local and federal representatives are less accountable to the people, and increasingly accountable to parties and special interest groups that work within them. Take closed primaries for example: Should you have to join a private political party to vote in a taxpayer-funded and publicly administered election? If voting really is a nonpartisan right, as IVP believes, there must be a better way.
The Independent Voter Project (IVP) is a 501(c)4 organization that seeks to re-engage nonpartisan voters and promote nonpartisan election reform through initiatives, litigation, and voter education. Learn more about us.