Miami-Dade Democratic Party passes resolution in support of allowing non-party affiliated, registered voters to participate in Democratic Party primaries

RESOLUTION OF THE MIAMI-DADE DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE TO MAXIMIZE VOTER PARTICIPATION AND PARTY GROWTH BY CHANGING THE RULE FOR ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE IN THE PARTY PRIMARIES

Passed by the Issues Committee on February 21, 2019
Passed by the Steering Committee on April 1st, 2019
Passed by the Steering Committee on April 8th, 2019

WHEREAS, the Unity Reform Commission of the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) including Chairman Tom Perez and the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns, issued its report stating that “it is critical that all eligible persons participate in the electoral process, including the Democratic presidential nominating process”, and that “the party process be improved to ensure maximum participation and Party growth”, and

WHEREAS, the Commission strongly praised the 30 jurisdictions which allowed non- party affiliated, registered voters to participate in Democratic Party primaries, and strongly “favor(ed) same-day and automatic voter registration, which includes same-day party switching”, and

WHEREAS, the Commission recommended that the DNC and the Party at all levels SHALL (emphasis added) use all means necessary such as encouraging states to pursue litigation, legislation, and “changing Party rules” to ensure that the above goals be achieved, and

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party stands for inclusion, participation, diversity and progress to the extent that the electoral selection process should fully reflect those values, and

WHEREAS, there are nearly 3.6 million non-party affiliated, registered voters in Florida where 27% of the total registered are not eligible to participate in the Democratic Primary, and the average primary turnout of about 23% is one of the lowest in the country. Demographic studies of this non-party affiliated, registered group of voters show them to be disproportionately composed of the young, students, people of color, and the newly-registered. Many other state Democratic Parties, including California, have opened up their primaries to non-party affiliated, registered voters which now comprises 40+% of the plurality of voters in the nation, and

WHEREAS 73% of Florida Democratic Party members polled support (*1) open primaries, and Florida’s non-party affiliated, registered voters were a key determinant in the past three presidential elections. The Party should be sending a clear message that it values their participation, and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled (*2) that political parties have an absolute First Amendment right to decide who can and can’t participate in their primary election, including non-party affiliated, registered voters, and that assertion does not require new legislation to be authorized.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE MIAMI-DADE DEMOCRATIC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HEREBY AGREES THAT THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY SHOULD CHANGE ITS RULES TO ALLOW ALL NON-PARTY AFFILIATED, REGISTERED VOTERS TO VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES NOW SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 17th, 2020, THE DEMOCRATIC STATE PRIMARY FOR STATEWIDE OFFICES NOW SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 25th, 2020, AND ALL SUBSEQUENT PRIMARIES.

*1 https://www.openprimaries.org/fl_poll_2019

*2 Tashjian v. Republican Party, 479 U.S. 208 (1986).


With over 600K registered Democrats in Miami-Dade, we represent the largest number of Democrats of any county in the state of Florida. We want to work with all Democrats to organize and effect change around the issues that will improve lives of those in our community. We invite you to sign up for email updates, and join us at county and local club meetings to learn how to get more involved.

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