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    DENVER, Colorado – The Denver Chamber of Commerce is attacking political parties and increasing political gridlock by pushing a misguided election system change for the 2016 fall ballot, the director of a coalition for a new election system is charging.

    The ‘Open Primaries’ initiative filed last month by the Denver Chamber of Commerce undermines political parties by allowing voters who don’t join a party help parties nominate candidates. “Someone who isn’t a member of an organization shouldn’t be allowed to vote in that organization,” Coalition for a New Election System Director Ryan Ross said. “The “Open Primaries” initiative is anti-democratic.  It would result in fewer party members, and candidates even more beholden to the fringe in each major party that they already are.”

In contrast, Ross said,  the proposed initiative submitted last month by the Coalition would end stagnation and gridlock, stop negative campaigning, and usher in a new generation of candidates committed as never before to achieving legislative progress.

“It’s been a century since Colorado adopted its current election scheme and it’s way past time for a new system,” Coalition Director Ryan Ross said. “The current system produces little but stalemate, stagnation and gridlock. It cheats voters. It cheats democracy. Our new system will help elect more problem-solving candidates, undermine silly partisan gamesmanship, and get the state and the country moving forward again.”
    The Coalition’s ‘Change.Politics.Now” initiative is simple. The proposed ballot title is “Should Colorado should have a two-stage election in which every registered voter can vote in each stage for any candidate in their district regardless of their party affiliation, and in which candidates compete against each other in each stage regardless of their party status?”

    “Our proposal will level the playing field for all candidates, give parties the freedom to run their own nomination systems any way they want, reduce negative campaigning, and dramatically expand the number of candidates on the general election ballot,” Ross said. “Colorado’s congressional delegation will have far more bridge-builders, and the state legislature will be far more likely to approve measures that reflect the best ideas of Democrats, Republicans and independents.”

    The Coalition’s proposal strengthens parties by allowing them to design and implement their own candidate nomination systems, and by providing them with $1 for every voter affiliated with their party to finance whatever system they adopt.

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