Open 2020 primaries to independent voters

Last month, 7.7 percent of New Jersey voters went to the polls to vote in party primaries that were, for the most part, noncompetitive. That was hailed as an increase from the 3 percent that voted four years ago.

Americans are deeply concerned about their country — just look at the level of volunteering and charitable giving in New Jersey and nationally. People care what happens. So why is voter participation so low? Not apathy. It’s the failed political system that lacks transparency, is divisive, controlled by party insiders and overly reliant on campaign contributions.

We represent the 2.4 million independent voters that were locked out of the primaries. There are more voters registered as unaffiliated in New Jersey than in either of the major political parties. It’s hypocritical to bemoan participation rates when you exclude 40% of the registered voters in the state.

As leaders of New Jersey Independent Voters (Sue Davies) and No Labels New Jersey (Steve Barratt), we are advocating for the New Jersey Democratic and Republican parties to open the 2020 Presidential Primaries to all New Jersey independents.

Independents across the state want to participate in the presidential primary process without having to compromise their independence. Their tax dollars pay for these elections and they deserve to be heard. The parties have the opportunity to broaden the conversation and participation in 2020. It is time for a democracy experiment.

Steve Barratt

Long Valley, Morris County

Sue Davies

Jersey City

Harris, other Democrats deliberately dividing US

I did not attend her appearance or hear the speech that Sen. Kamala Harris recently gave at Harrah’s. However, I did read the coverage of the event in The Press.

I find her to be offensive and disrespectful to President Trump. Did she ever mention how great the economy is under Trump? Of course not. She, like every other Democrat running for her party’s nomination, does nothing but dwell on the negative, never once giving Trump credit for anything he has done for America since becoming president.

No, he has never held any other political office in any capacity. He is not a puppet politician, like most people in public office are. He speaks to people with honesty, not worrying what every other politician did before him. I give this man credit for taking all the bashing and ridicule he has endured. Only a strong person would withstand the hateful people who constantly denigrate him.

Is there any Democrat running for the presidency now who could withstand this kind of treatment every day? Democrats are deliberately dividing this country by all the attacks against the president.

Hillary Clinton lost. It’s time to get over it and move on for the good of the country.

Kathleen A. Costello

Ventnor

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