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Letters to the Editor

Independent voices needed in government

Recently, I was on a national conference call with Representative John Delaney of Maryland to discuss the Open Our Democracy Act, HR 2655, which he has reintroduced. The call was convened and hosted by Jackie Salit, president of IndependentVoting.org, the largest association of independent voters in the country, of which I’m a part. On the call, we got the inside scoop on this important legislation and the role independents can play in building support for it.

The bill does three things: enacts top two nonpartisan primaries for all Congressional elections in the United States, makes Election Day a national holiday, and creates a road whereby the practice of gerrymandering could be replaced with a more citizen-friendly redistricting process.

In other words, it’s an anti-corruption package of reform designed to empower voters and give our country some much-needed breathing room from the partisanship that now determines every step of the political process.

Delaney said, “Politicians always make the mistake of underestimating the American people. 300 million smart Americans are not going to let some 500 members of Congress stand in their way forever.” I couldn’t agree more.

Given the vested interest of most politicians in the status quo, it’s going to take a grassroots movement of independent-minded voters to pressure our local representatives to support this bill. I will be contacting Congressman Mark Amodei to ask him to support it. Please join me.

We can open our democracy and unleash the innovation and creativity needed to solve old problems in new ways. We’ll have to free ourselves from the grips of partisanship to do so.

Catana L Barnes

President, Independent Voters of Nevada

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