Major Election Reform Bill Would Aid Unaffiliated Voters Seeking Office

State Representative Ken Goodman (D-Richmond County) on Tuesday introduced House Bill 737 to make major reforms to the state’s election process, allowing unaffiliated voters to file for office without having to gather voter petitions and conducting open non-partisan primaries, where the top two vote receivers proceed to the General Election.

“We have to put the voters back in charge of politics.  Right now, the decks are stacked, the politicians are picking their voters and the result is hyper-partisanship on both sides of the aisle,” said Rep. Goodman.

“I believe the unaffiliated voter deserves the same right to access the election process as a registered Democrat or registered Republican.  The fact that an independent must go and acquire a certain percentage of registered voters before they can get on the ballot seems like an unfair roadblock we are presenting them just because they are an unaffiliated voter,” said Rep. Goodman.

“When you open-up the process to competition, it will keep both parties honest.  A discussion of ideas and policy agendas will mean the voters get to hear and see more options and more public debate,” Rep. Goodman added.

“I know neither party is going to be willing to support this legislation, but it will start the debate and the discussion about returning the election process back to the voters of North Carolina,” said Rep. Goodman.

Goodman said the open primary model is a hybrid of open primaries similar to state elections in California and Louisiana.  Under the new election plan, Democrats, Republicans and any unaffiliated candidate would be able to file for office then the top two vote getters coming out of the open primary would proceed to the General Election.