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May 2024 Updates pt. 2


Friends, 


We're on the road to Denver, Bozeman, DC, Kenosha, Anchorage, Albany and everywhere in between.  There are several active campaigns we're supporting this year to give citizens the freedom to vote and choices they deserve.  What does success look like?  Andrew Yang filmed this TED Talk that powerfully encapsulates exactly what we are trying to achieve (and it is achievable) - and also features Mike Escobar, one of our wonderful Nevada volunteers.Stay tuned, donate, and spread the word to your friends, colleagues, and neighbors: we can fix American political dysfunction, but it requires all hands on deck.


-Team Veterans for All Voters



Words from Andrew Yang and a shoutout to our Nevada State Leader, Mike Escobar:

 

“But the advertisement that I thought put [the Nevada campaign] over the top was a military veteran looking at the camera and saying, "I went overseas to defend our country for years. I came back and as an independent, I can't vote in our primaries. And I don't think that's right." 53 percent of Nevadans agreed with that veteran, even though both major parties came out against it. And in November, there are five more states that are considering a version of these reforms.”



  • Indeed.  That’s the power of one Veteran, using their trusted voice to advocate for powerful, party-neutral election reforms

  • We are so grateful for our Nevada State leader, USMC Veteran, Mike Escobar for all of his efforts to date. Congratulations, Mike, on this well-deserved “shout out” from Andrew Yang!




 

Check out VAV's interview with Unite America's Executive Director Nick Troiano about his new book: The Primary Solution: Rescuing Our Democracy From The Fringes

 

Unite America, under Nick's leadership, has really shaped the election reform movement and highlighted the deleterious role that partisan primaries have played in stoking dysfunction and division. You can watch our conversation above.


VAV Updates and News from the States


Denver Launch and Happy Hour Event Re-cap

 

Veterans for Colorado Voters officially launched with a happy hour at the storied VFW Post 1 in Denver, Colorado! Veteran leaders Eric Bronner, Brendan O'Brien, and Tony Haas made remarks to the crowd and energized the group. Terrence Carroll, a former police officer and former Speaker of the House in Colorado, also spoke about the importance and need for election reform in order to save our Republic.



Nevada



Let Us Vote - Citizen Spotlight: I Don't Fit In the Two Parties, Nevada State Volunteer Brandon Moody

 

"The fact that there are only two [parties] doesn't fit with me and it never has. And I don't think it fits for many people. A big portion of people do not fit, and that's a problem when this is supposed to be a representative democracy."


Arizona

 

Former Lt. Col. T.J. Lindberg who served in the U.S. Army from 1995 to 2015 said the open primary movement in Arizona has a real opportunity to allow "middle of the spectrum, solution-oriented" leaders the chance to play a larger role in addressing problems -- not only at the state level, but nationally and internationally, too.


 

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, as many as 6 in 10 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. 


South Dakota

 

South Dakota’s registered voters include 304,000 Republicans, 144,000 Democrats and nearly 150,000 others who identify as “no party affiliation” or independent, according to online voter registration tracking.



A Huge congratulations to our friends at South Dakota Open Primaries on this monumental milestone!




Veterans for All Voters South Dakota veteran leader, Brian Bengs, has been giving presentations in support of the new Open Primaries ballot amendment, and Brian will be taking part in a video opportunity led by our friends and partners at Open Primaries and #LetUsVote.org





A new poll out in South Dakota finds that 56% of South Dakotans support a move from closed primaries to an open, nonpartisan primary where the top two vote-getters move on to the general election.  Currently, only 35% of South Dakotans polled support the current closed primary system.


Utah

 

When you’re serving your country overseas, remaining focused on the mission can be a matter of life and death. There’s little time for anything else, including exercising your right to vote. As a Marine combat veteran who served in Iraq, I know how hard it can be to vote while deployed: We must apply for a ballot, receive it in a foreign land, send it back and cross our fingers that it arrives on time. In my experience, many service members are unable to complete this process successfully and have their voices heard.


Louisiana

 

Miguez’s bill would prohibit local governments from using ranked-choice voting for any elections in Louisiana, with an exception for out-of-state military members who have used it in Louisiana elections for decades.


Maine

 

Maine will hold its very first open primary for local races next week. Nearly 300,000 Maine voters who couldn’t vote before have gained full voting rights and can finally take part.

 

This didn’t happen overnight. VAV was instrumental in helping get Open Primaries passed in Maine back in 2021. It was a five year collaborative process between Open Primaries, Open Primaries Maine, elected officials, civic groups, party leaders, editorial boards, journalists, and citizens throughout the state to champion the right of all Maine voters to participate in primaries. But it’s finally happening and we’re thrilled that all Mainers will finally be able to participate fully.


Virginia



The State of US Congress & Why Do Veterans Make Great Leaders? VAV Virginia State Leader and Veteran Mike Cantwell

 

Mike Cantwell of Veterans For All Voters and Independents For America sat down to speak with The Purple Principle at the @principlesfirstus summit in February 2024. In this clip, Mike talks about problem solving within the US Congress, specifically related to some of our biggest nation-wide concerns, and how veterans approach their missions.


More News from Around the Country


 

If approved by voters later this year, Missouri will officially ban ranked-choice voting and non-citizen voting. It would also confirm that elections only be carried out by paper ballot or “any mechanical method prescribed by law.”


 

IT IS NO SECRET THAT American political dysfunction is becoming a weakness abroad and even a threat to our national security. But because the dysfunction has, by various metrics, grown steadily worse for decades, it’s worth looking beyond the current gridlock and the upcoming election to think about how well our nation will respond to security crises in a few years.


 

IT IS NO SECRET THAT American political dysfunction is becoming a weakness abroad and even a threat to our national security. But because the dysfunction has, by various metrics, grown steadily worse for decades, it’s worth looking beyond the current gridlock and the upcoming election to think about how well our nation will respond to security crises in a few years.

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