Letter: Don’t suppress voices of independent voters
Earlier this month, the Colorado legislature passed HB19-1278 which contained language that requires an increase in the number of petition signatures for independent and third-party candidates. State Sen. Stephen Fenberg, a Democrat from Boulder, and Rep. Susan Lontine, a Democrat from Denver, sponsored this bill. These Democrats and the ones who voted for this bill have already forgotten one major ally in the 2018 election — the independent voters. There would not have been a “Blue Wave” of Democratic election victories without a large wave of independent voters.
I don’t understand why they would want to bite the hands that feed them.
I don’t understand the motive behind this move to obstruct independent and third-party candidates with more petition signatures. I may never know as Sen. Fenberg and Rep. Lontine never returned my phone calls or e-mails in my efforts to fend off this increase. I find this behavior unprofessional and condescending. So, as a Colorado independent voter, I am not good enough to talk to.
We at Western Colorado Independent Voters saw this attitude after our outreach campaign with Colorado Democrats at the county and state levels during the past two months. However, the Eagle County Democrats were the exception. Overall, the Democratic Party leaders made it clear that they do not want independent voters and independent candidates interfering with “their” elections in 2020.
You see, the Democratic and Republican Parties believe that they own America’s election system and can dictate their rules to the voters. Independents and third-party voters are forced to vote for the candidates that these parties have chosen. Colorado’s new semi-open primary is still not democratic. Democracy does not live here. We need to change it to a “Top Two” open primary system.
The national independent voter movement is the only major movement that is fighting to give ownership of our election system back to the American people. This legislative action by the Colorado Democratic Party will intensify my efforts to recruit and support independent candidates for every county, state, and national offices in the 2020 elections.
Founder & Lead Organizer of Western Colorado Independent Voters
For 40 years, Eagle’s Community Helpline has been a living example of the axiom that giving begins at home.