NPC Blog

Bi-Partisan Declaration on 2016 Primary Election Reform!

Aug 02

“National Presidential Caucus for 2016 Primary Reform” Urges Ongoing Cross Party Consultation and Stronger Enforcement of Calendar Rules

There may be no greater public policy question than who is chosen to become president. How we make that choice, embodied in the election rules, has an enormous effect on who gets elected. The quality of our nation's presidential primary election process rests on our ability to establish an orderly, fair and inclusive process. Yet, with no central controlling authority to resolve the issue, the many interests of state and national parties as well as state governments must finally collaborate and negotiate a formula for each election cycle.

Success for 2012!

Sep 19

The GOP, at the last minute and for the first time, gave themselves permission to take up calendar reform after their 2008 convention. Following the Democrats' example the RNC will also create a new reform-specific commission to propose changes for adoption over the next 12-18 months. So now there will be two separate but parallel partisan committees working to overhaul of the dysfunctional primary/caucus process for 2012. In the arcane world of primary reform, this is big news!

GOP effort to reform primary calendar has gotten a second life

Sep 19

From the Dallas Morning News:

"In an unprecedented move, the Republican National Convention has voted to create a commission that could revive the proposed reforms in the 2012 primary calendar that were killed over the weekend.

"It's just a huge breakthrough," said David Norcross, who chairs the RNC Rules Committee. He added that it will enable the party to look at major changes in the system that were blocked at the convention and "will allow us an opportunity to confer with our Democratic counterparts" who also want to make changes. "

Link to article

Obama responds with proposal for 2012 reform commission

Aug 21

Barak Obama has called for rule changes to be worked out for the 2012 primary/caucus season and to push back the start date. The timing of the announcement, coming just one week before the GOP convention takes up its own reform proposal, is clearly meant to encourage the Republicans to take action and for new bi-partisan cooperation on this most complex issue.

The Washington Post:

Obama Team Seeks Changes in Primaries

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 21, 2008; A03

"National Caucus for 2012 Reform" Yields New Bi-Partisan Agreement

Aug 20


James Roosevelt, Co-Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee (L); David Norcross, Chair Republican Party Rules Committee (R)

Yesterday was an historic day for primary/caucus reform. At the National Press Club in Washington DC gathered David Norcross, Chair Republican Party Rules Committee; James Roosevelt, Co-Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee, Trey Grayson, Kentucky Secretary of State and President-elect, National Association of Secretaries of State; Don Means, Director of the Open Caucus Instititute, to discuss much needed action to reform the primary system before the 2012 elections.

The outcome: A Joint Resolution for Primary Reform

"We the undersigned are joined in common resolve calling for vigorous and widespread discussion and deliberation about how best to reform the current primary election calendar for 2012. We are not all from the same party. We may have different opinions about which specific reform plans to adopt. We do agree that changes must be made to avoid the chaos our current system and calendar promise for the next cycle.

There may be no greater public policy question than who is chosen to become president. How we make that choice, the election rules of the process, has an enormous effect on who gets elected. The quality of our nation's presidential primary election process rests on our ability to establish an orderly, fair and inclusive process. Yet, with no central controlling authority to resolve the issue, the many interests of state and national parties as well as state governments must collaborate and negotiate a formula for each election cycle.

The urgency for making this open call for action pertains to the Republican Party rules which require changes to be made only at their quadrennial conventions. Since both major parties must largely agree on a common calendar, there will be little opportunity to effect meaningful change after the GOP convention in September.

We urge every citizen, every state government and all political parties to give renewed intense focus to this vital public policy issue that will determine how the next primary will be run. We ask that everyone become informed on history of the process, the various proposals under consideration and to take action by advocating for the plan they support.

We do advocate for commencing the primary caucus season no earlier than February and preferably later to remove it from the new year and holiday season.

We further resolve since this issue is of an ongoing nature and since circumstances invariably change over time, we commit to continuing an open discussion and deliberation process that both incorporates and transcends party and governmental boundaries."

* David Norcross, Chair, Rules & Bylaws Committee, RNC
* James Roosevelt, Co-Chair, Rules & Bylaws Committee, DNC
* Trey Grayson, KY SoS & President-elect, National Assoc. Secretaries of State
* Robert Bennett, Chair, Ohio Republican Party
* Michael Mauro, IA Secretary of State
* Don Means, Director, Open Caucus Institute


(L to R) Don Means, Director, Open Caucus Institute;
David Norcross, Chair, Rules & Bylaws Committee, RNC; James Roosevelt, Co-Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee; Trey Grayson, KY SoS & President-elect, National Assoc. Secretaries of State

Announcement: Open Caucus Institute event at National Press Club on August 20, 2008

Aug 18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bi-partisan group of party leaders to convene in Washington DC to urge action for reform of primary calendar for 2012 prior to 2008 deadline: the GOP Convention

-- RNC & DNC Rules Chairmen and Secretaries of State lead call for reform: Call for primaries to start later in 2012. Deadline for change: 2008 GOP Convention.

Sausalito, CA -- August 19, 2008 -- "The National Presidential Caucus for 2012 Primary Reform", a project of the Open Caucus Institute, a non-partisan and not-for-profit organization "for more participatory democracy", convenes a distinguished group of bi-partisan party leaders and state officials at the Washington, DC Press Club, August 20, 2008 to discuss the importance of reforming the 2012 Primary calendar.

Participating in the "National Caucus for 2012 Primary Reform" will be David Norcross, Chair Republican Party Rules Committee; James Roosevelt, Co-Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee, Trey Grayson, Kentucky Secretary of State and President-elect, National Association of Secretaries of State; Don Means, Director of the Open Caucus Instititute.

Kentucky Secretary of State Grayson sets it up.

Jul 11



"I believe this is one of the most important issues facing our democracy: how we choose our president during the nominating process...We have a process that disenfranchises a lot of voters all across the country."

2012 Reform (Videos)

Open Caucus Institute Introduction