Dear Editor:

I recently joined over 100 independent voters on a national conference call hosted by Independent Voting President Jackie Salit. We discussed the 2020 elections and what the “rules of engagement” will be for independent voters as part of our carefully crafted national strategy now underway. We will urge party leaders and elected officials in every state to provide unambiguous responses to five simple questions. 1) Will independents be permitted to vote in the 2020 presidential primary? 2) If yes, are we going to be required to join a party to do so or will we be allowed to maintain our independence? (that’s what we want) 3) If no, are you prepared to urge other party leaders in your state to declare open primaries? 4) Will you communicate to your national party before September 2018 that you intend to open the primaries to independents? 5) Will you publicly state your support for the right of independents to participate in the 2020 presidential primaries? In 2016, Arizona’s party leaders refused to open their primaries despite requests from 30,000 voters. Independents are organizing nationwide to establish clear rules of engagement. We will not give up. We pay for the electoral process, too. That justifies inclusion. The inability for parties to govern owing to dysfunctional gridlock demands it.

Al Bell