Opinion: Defending the Freedoms of all Americans, Not Just a Political Party

Credit: Getty Images / Boris Zhitkov

By TJ Lindberg, John Webster

April 12, 2024

At the heart of American democracy is the basic right to vote. This treasured privilege has been earned through struggle and is the very foundation of our freedom. It is the right which all other rights hinge upon.

With a combined 40 years of military service, we stand alongside many other brave Americans devoted to upholding the principles of freedom and fairness. Beyond a history of service and love of country, an impressive 59% of veterans proudly call ourselves independent voters.

In Arizona, systemic barriers entrenched within our electoral system are designed to disenfranchise voters like us and prevent candidates who genuinely reflect our interests from getting on the ballot. These obstacles disproportionately complicate veterans’ ability to have a say in selecting the future commander-in-chief.

Requiring Independent voters to re-register with a party simply so we can exercise our right to vote in elections we pay for contradicts the very act of dissociating from a party that no longer reflects our values.

Moreover, Independent candidates are subjected to significantly higher signature requirements, up to six times more signatures than Republican or Democratic candidates, unfairly hindering their ability to qualify for the ballot. Even if a candidate overcomes these hurdles their name will not appear on primary ballots like R and D candidates but instead will only appear on the general election ballot.

Veterans have sacrificed a great deal for us. Is it fair to deny them the freedoms enjoyed by the parties they don’t identify with and expect them to sacrifice more to participate in the primary elections their taxpayer dollars pay for?

Our system should facilitate and make the opportunity to vote or run for office open to everyone.

Change requires courage. But we’re all too familiar with the candidates that benefit from preserving status quo. The ones that prioritize party allegiance over what’s best for their country. It’s time we put the nation’s interests above party politics and reignite the spirit of cooperation and teamwork that has historically fueled our country’s success.

The Make Elections Fair Act ensures every American can cast a vote that upholds their values without compromise by:

  • Treating all voters equally by allowing them to automatically vote in every primary election for any candidate they want.
  • Treating all candidates equally by creating a single open primary election where all candidates for a given office appear on the same ballot and have the same signature requirements.
  • Restricting taxpayer money to only elections that are open to all voters and candidates, not private party elections.

Our democracy thrives when every citizen’s voice is heard. Let’s treat all voters and candidates equally. Join the fight for fair elections in Arizona.

Learn more at: www.makeelectionsfairaz.com. Find out where to sign a petition: www.makeelectionsfairaz.com/signapetition




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