There is a Semi-Open Primary resolution being heard at the State Platform and Resolutions Committee (SPARC) this Tuesday evening. Our goal is to bring many of the young non-partisan and disenfranchised voters back into our Democratic Party and give them representation.

We are hoping for 50 State Central Committee co-sponsors by this Monday. Please see the attached resolution, which we ask progressive SCC members to please co-sponsor, and the following fact sheet. Please distribute both freely.

If you would like to help promote this resolution, please send this to your SCC friends and ask them to email me. Please have them reply to, Kathleen Burke,

Thank you for all you do.

Here is the resolution, and the Fact Sheet will follow::


Whereas the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) is an inclusive party which desires increased participation in all levels of the political process and to limit government disenfranchisement of New Mexico residents, Whereas semi-open primaries allow non-affiliated voters to participate exclusively in one primary, increases the responsiveness of Democratic primary candidates to their communities[1][2][3], and denying this responsiveness and vote is a form of disenfranchisement,

Whereas ​excluding non-affiliated voters from primaries decreases voter participation in elections[4][5], can propagate distrust of the political system, non-affiliated voters make up 22% of the New Mexico voter base[6] and unaffiliated NM residents community members have no vote in an uncontested general election, Whereas voter participation among young voters has decreased in the past decade [7], young voters are choosing to register as declined to state in record numbers, candidates in closed primary states are less responsive to young voters[2], and newly registered NM voters of all ages are overwhelming choosing to register as decline to state [8],

Whereas voter participation in general elections increases with open primaries[4][5], DPNM has a goal of increasing voter participation, desires to ca​pture non-affiliated voters so as to be successful in the general election, and said ability to affiliate increases the re-enfranchisement of previously disenfranchised voters.

Be It Resolved on the day of primary voting, voters not affiliated with a qualified major party shall be given the option to affiliate with the Democratic Party, by voting exclusively in the Democratic Primary, and;

Be It Resolved The DPNM, Democratic candidates and Democratic State officials shall pursue implementation of the above policy.

[1] Gerber, E., & Morton, R. (1998). Primary Election Systems and Representation. ​Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization,​ ​14(​ 2), 304-324. Retrieved from [2] Kaufmann, K., Gimpel, J., & Hoffman, A. (2003). A Promise Fulfilled? Open Primaries and Representation. ​The Journal of Politics,​ ​65​(2), 457-476. doi:10.1111/1468-2508.t01-2-00009 [3] Bullock, W., & Clinton, J. (2011). More a Molehill than a Mountain: The Effects of the Blanket Primary on Elected Officials’ Behavior from California. ​The Journal of Politics,​ ​73​(3), 915-930. doi:10.1017/s0022381611000557 [4] Kenney, P. (1986). Explaining Primary Turnout: The Senatorial Case. ​Legislative Studies Quarterly,​ ​11(​ 1), 65-73. Retrieved from ​ [5] Jean, Sophia (2017). Discrepancies in Voter Turnout: American Primary Election Type. University of Colorado, Boulder. [6] Secretary of State Voter Registration Statistics, (2019). 9-voter-registration-statistics/ [7] 2014 Youth Turnout and Youth Registration Rates Lowest Ever Recorded; nges-essential-in-2016/ [8] Las Cruces Sun News, Sept. 29, 2018. mexico-decline-state-party-affiliation/1472133002/ ********************************************************************************************************

Forty-One States​ Have Some Form of Open Primary. It’s New Mexico’s Turn! This resolution is for a “semi-open” primary. It allows recruitment of Declined to State (DTS) and minor party voters into the Democratic Party by allowing them to register or affiliate with the Democratic Party on the day of the primary election. A semi-open primary in New Mexico WILL re-enfranchise our NM residents. * In 2017, 54% of new voters in New Mexico voters did NOT register as a Democratic or Republican.[1] * Some 22% of New Mexican voters, and an even larger percentage of young voters are DTS voters.[2] Independent voters are a growing segment of the voting population with the majority of young voters choosing not to affiliate with a major party. The continued success of our Democratic party depends on including these voters. This is not a fully “open” primary or a jungle/blanket primary. * It will not allow registered Republicans to vote in a Democratic primary or join the Democratic Party on primary day. * It is not a blanket, jungle or other type of primary that may confuse voters or introduce complexity. Right now, campaigns focus on outreach and policy for “preferred Dem voters”, Dems with a near perfect history of voting. Data shows this populace: * Under represents NM Residents under 50 years old. * Under represents Hispanics, Native-Americans and other minorities. As a party, we are committed to inclusion and embrace diversity. We want turnout in the most important election in most NM elections, the primary, to represent diverse constituencies. DTS voters ARE NOT spoilers or “outsiders”. They ARE: * ​Our neighbors and community members. * Disillusioned with a system they believe is rigged. * Rightfully mad at a system that clearly benefits special interests and party elites. Semi-open primaries will push campaigns into dialogues with DTS voters and engage more voters who are in line with our grassroots and democratic principles. As a party, we can dismantle this wall of distrust by making it clear disenchanted voters are welcome in our party. 1 The myth of “crossover voting” (Republicans influencing Democrat elections) CAN’T occur in a “semi-open” primary because only DTS (independents) can join Democrats in their primary. * Every scholarly study we reviewed demonstrates “semi-open primary” crossover doesn’t happen [3,4,5,6,7,8,9]. * No scholarly study has ever demonstrated crossover in “semi-open” primaries. * We do NOT advocate for fully open primaries or allowing Republicans into our party. Closed primaries are creating a constitutional crisis in our NM constitution anti-donation clause. * Public money funds closed primaries, yet many citizens are ​excluded ​from their right to vote in their publicly funded elections. * The constitutional crisis is still looming after the recent Supreme Court decision. The Democratic Party is built upon the principle of inclusion and semi-open primaries are a way to engage independent and minor party voters who align with Democratic and progressive principles. If we engage them in the primary they will likely stay with us in the general. DTS candidates can reduce costs in the general election. * DTS voters who turn out for our primary will stick with their candidate in the general. * The stronger the voter outreach in the primary, the less cost required in the general. * A semi-open primary ​can i​ ncrease costs in the primary, but it also ​expands ​the donor pool. Multiple Democratic candidates outreaching to these DTS voters can turn our primaries into a well-oiled Democrat recruitment machine! Conclusion Semi-open primaries will ​expand ​the Democratic Party and make it more ​responsive ​to its residents! Once this resolution is passed, the New Mexico legislature will need to pass enabling legislation to provide for party choice in New Mexico primaries. The Democratic Platform already ​supports ranked-choice voting, a natural progression from a semi-open primary. Please join this effort to stand up for fairness and inclusion. PLEASE VOTE YES ON RESOLUTION FOR: PROVIDING FOR INCREASED VOTER PARTICIPATION IN PRIMARIES  Citations [1] Las Cruces Sun News (2017) affiliation/1472133002/ [2] Secretary of State Voter Registration Statistics, (2019). / [3] Norrander, B., & Wendland, J. (2016). Open versus closed primaries and the ideological composition of presidential primary electorates. Electoral Studies, 42, 229–236. [4] Ahler, D. J., Citrin, J. and Lenz, G. S. (2016), Do Open Primaries Improve Representation? An Experimental Test of California’s 2012 Top-Two Primary. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 41: 237-268. doi:​10.1111/lsq.12113 [5] Will Bullock and Joshua D. Clinton, (July 2011) “More a Molehill than a Mountain: The Effects of the Blanket Primary on Elected Officials’ Behavior from California,” The Journal of Politics 73, no. 3: 915-930. [6] Frank Stephenson, E. (2010). Strategic voting in open primaries: evidence from Rush Limbaugh’s “operation chaos.” Public Choice, 148(3–4), 445–457. [7] Kaufmann, K. M., Gimpel, J. G., & Hoffman, A. H. (2003). A Promise Fulfilled? Open Primaries and Representation. The Journal of Politics, 65(2), 457–476. [8] Alvarez, R. Michael and Nagler, Jonathan (1997) ​Analysis of Crossover and Strategic Voting.​ Social Science Working Paper, 1019. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. [9] SOUTHWELL, P. L. (1988). OPEN VERSUS CLOSED PRIMARIES AND CANDIDATE FORTUNES, 1972-1984. American Politics Quarterly, 16(3), 280–295.

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