Independent Voters of Nevada is a grassrots organization that was put together to create a unified voice for changing the current two-party, partisan, political system to a system that includes all voters at every level of the political process. Currently, Nevada has closed primaries which excludes independent voters from a very crucial part of the political process. IVON is affiliated with IndependentVoting.org, and, with their help and support, we are circulating a grassroots petition to support bringing open primaries to Nevada as well as working on a national campaign to get Congressional Hearings on the Second Class Status of Independent Voters. We look forward to meeting and speaking with all of the voters, not just independents, who wish to change the current two-party, partisan, political system to one that empowers all voters.
Read more About Us.
On November 14, 2013, the President's Commission on Election Administration will be conducting a Public Conference Call. I encourage everyone to listen to what they have to say. You may wish to write a letter of your own.
You can get all of the information about the call at: http://www.supportthevoter.gov/ Go to the tabs at the top of the page and click on "NEWS"
IndependentVoting.org formed their National Election Reform Committee in response to the formation of the President's Commission on Election Administration (PCEA). The PCEA was established by Executive Order on March 28, 2013. Their mission is to identify best practices in election administration and to make recommendations to improve the voting experience (supportthevoter.gov, 2013). IndependentVoting.org's National Election Reform Committee led IndependentVoting.org's campaign to pressure the PCEA to expand its agenda and recognize the rights of 40% of Americans who identify as independent. The members of the committee are Steve Richardson--VA (Chairman), Rick Robol--OH, and Catana Barnes--NV.
Independents from our network of grassroots activists and leaders attended and presented testimonies at the four meetings that were open for public comment: Coral Gables, FL on June 28, 2013, Denver, CO on August 8, 2013, Philadelphia, PA on September 4, 2013 and Cincinnati, OH on September 19 & 20, 2013. Steve Richardson, the committee chair, attended the first meeting of the President's Commission on Election Administration held in Washington, D.C. on June 21, 2013. Catana Barnes, President of Independent Voters of Nevada attended the PCEA hearing in Denver, CO on August 8, 2013, and provided testimonies to the PCEA for five of her fellow independent leaders (Jason Olson--CA, Brenda Sperduti and Janelle Wood--AZ, David Ellis--OR, and Randy Miller--UT) who could not attend the hearing, as well as her own personal testimony. At the hearing in Denver, activists presented an open letter to the Commission that 1100 people from 50 states signed. The statements and testimonies were passionate, personal and reflected the broad diversity of our movement.
The Commission, appointed by President Obama to look at the defects in the election process, chose to keep the focus very narrow; it was about election administration rather than voter participation. Jackie Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org, pointed out in her article in The Daily Beast, "the gap between the enormity of the problems that the country faces and what the Commission is doing, is a little like opening an umbrella in the middle of a hurricane" (Kresky & Salit, 2013). In Ohio, the co-chair of the Commission, Robert Ginsberg, tried to stop independents from testifying saying that "since they have previously heard from independents" he wanted all of the independents to give only 1 testimony. Obviously, he didn't want to hear that independents want open primaries! All five independents from Ohio and Kentucky got up and delivered their individual testimonies, making it clear that the independents were not going to go away.
In December, the Commission is submitting their report to the President, and, of course, we are urging the Commission to include ways independents are locked out of the process. However, given the Commission is bi-partisan, headed by Democrats and Republicans, we are not expecting much from them. But now they know that independents are growing and will not be sidelined.
Read all of the public comments at: http://www.supportthevoter.gov/
Denver, CO August 8, 2013--Pictured left to right: Commission co-chair Robert F. Bauer, IndependentVoting.org's Communications Director Sarah Lyons, President of Independent Voters of Nevada Catana Barnes, Colorado independent activists Gwen Ballard and Dave Buck.
The Daily Beast article by Harry Kresky & Jacqueline Salit September 2, 2013
Letter to the editor submitted by Catana Barnes prior to testifying in Denver, CO:
Reno Gazette Journal August 14, 2013
Lincoln County Record August 5, 2013
Elko Daily Free Press August 2, 2013
IVN: Independents Meeting President's Commission in Denver, Colorado by Bob Conner August 1, 2013
Pictures from the conference
IVON's president, Catana Barnes, was interviewed by Steve Sanson, President of Veterans in Politics International, and Jim Jonas on the Veterans in Politics internet radio show out of Las Vegas, NV, on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Click here to listen to the interview http://audio.vegasallnetradio.com/VIP/VIP2012-10-13.mp3
Catana introduced herself , the organization and provided a brief description of what they are working on (the national campaign to get congressional hearings on the second class status of independents, etc.) Catana then had Daniel provide the Congressman with a copy of the Bill of Particulars so she could go over some of the points with him including the number of independents currently registered in Nevada and in his district.
Congressman Amodei expressed a concern that he had about opening up the primaries, but after a short discussion on the matter, he stated that he definitely supported their efforts to get the hearings. He also acknowledged that independents are now the majority of the electorate and he said that he would be happy to write a letter to the Committee on the Judiciary, which he is a member of.
Congressman Amodei stated, “In my gut, I know it isn’t right that such a large portion of voters are unable to participate in the primaries.” Congressman Amodei asked if they had a sample letter, they said yes, and Daniel provided Mr. Amodei with copies of the three letters that had already been written by three other members of Congress (Michael E. Capuano of
Mr. Amodei said that he will write the letter when he returns to Washington D.C., he will send a copy of the letter to Catana to look over to make sure the letter’s content is what they are looking for, she will contact him to let him know if the letter meets their needs, and then he will submit it to the committee.
Congressman Amodei and his staff members were very friendly and treated them with respect. Catana followed up the meeting with a thank you note to show their appreciation.
Click on the letter to read it.
I am pleased to announce that Jackie Salit's new book, Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America, hit the bookshelves Tuesday, August 7, 2012. It's available now from your favorite online bookseller!
Publisher's Weekly called the book "Earnest and informative . . . Covering both national and regional concerns, the book is strongest when it demystifies the movement itself . . . gives necessary voice to voters who are fed up with partisan politics and desire change."
Jackie Salit will appear on Fox & Friends, Wednesday, August 8th launching her national book tour with radio and TV appearances, book signings and speaking events from August - November.
Read the advanced reviews on
Buy the Book:
You can read Catana's review of the book at:
More voters opting for nonpartisan status
This is a copy of the email I received from the administrators at Op-ed News:
We want to accept your article but it needs a bit more work, as described below.
You submitted an article titled:
Independent voters face structural barriers
This article was submitted with category OpEdNews_Op_Eds and tags Candidates, Congress, Democrat, Independent, Independent Party, Participation, Partisanship, Primaries, Representation, Republican, States, Voter Disenfranchisement, Voter Participation, Voter Revolt, Voters Bill Of Rights
Op Ed News Administrator
P.S. If you are saying that independents don't have some kind of special status you are correct. However, you are not exactly representing things as they are. Yes, it is harder for "independent" candidates to run for office, but to claim that independent voters can't vote? That is not true. I will give you the change to revisit this and resubmit it.
Independentvoting.org's new campaign calling on Congress to conduct hearings into the structural biases against independent voters has gotten off to a promising and eventful start. We're happy to share with you some of the early highlights in our new newsletter about the campaign. Make sure to send us your stories, pictures and letters to Congress as we grow our campaign together! Democracy wins when independents are included.
Activists Pilot Meetings With Members
of Congress in 3 States
Michael Lewis and William Bowe from Independent Kentucky (IK) met with Congressman John Yarmouth. IK has been leading a fight to open the primaries. Said Lewis "We highlighted how Kentucky and other states in this nation are keeping willing voters out of the process. We informed him we are going to bring him petitions and postcards from people in his district who support these issues." Rep. Yarmouth acknowledged that open primaries create a more representative government.
Congressman Towns Says Yes!
New York County Independence Party Chair Cathy Stewart, and Vice Chair, Alvaader Frazier, Esq. met with Congressman Edolphus Towns on June 7th. Rep. Towns from Brooklyn, who is very familiar with the grassroots organizing record of the Independence Party in New York City, is a member of the Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management. Towns unhesitantly said that he would like to help, that Congress should hold hearings to explore the barriers independents face, and that it is important to work to expand the number of people that are participating. He indicated that if he were still the chair of the committee, he would just hold the hearings, but since he is not, he has to request hearings. Frazier commented: "It is left to us ordinary Americans to work for a more perfect democracy and the inclusion of all citizens in the democratic processes of our government. This campaign will take us closer to the structural reforms we as progressive independent leaders have been working/fighting and demanding for decades. Congressman Towns support signals that this campaign can succeed and Congressional hearings are in reach."
Catana Barnes of Independent Voters of Nevada (IVON) met with the chief of staff for Senator Dean Heller who promised to brief Senator Heller about IVON's wishes for him to push for Congressional Hearings. The staffer confirmed that sending letters to the Senator will really make a difference, so Catana is hitting the streets to gather dozens of letters.
The Bill of Particulars
The Bill of Particulars: Alvaader, Cathy, Michael and Catana all gave their Representatives copies of the "Bill of Particulars" - A Call for Congressional Hearings: VOTER RIGHTS VS PARTY RIGHTS: INDEPENDENT VOTERS TREATED AS SECOND CLASS CITIZENS which highlights the various ways independents are disadvantaged. Click here to read.
The Bill of Particulars was developed by a committee led by Steve Richardson of VA, and included Kim Wright, SD, Carl Farmer, RI; Bryan Puertas, NY and Catana Barnes, NV. Great Work!
Grassroots Organizing: The Key to Success
Mike Pickering and Murray Dabby of Georgia Independent Voters collected 24 signed letters in an hour and a half outside the Virginia-Highland Arts & Crafts Festival fairground in Atlanta. Dabby noted that many people, Democrats and Republicans included, were responsive to the call for hearings. They also met many strong independents who were glad to learn of a national effort to organize independents.
Key to our success to win Congressional hearings is a grassroots letter writing campaign. Download the letter here and send to your Congress member. Add to the letter or change it. Send it to your network. Ask folks at work to sign letters, get signatures at July 4th barbecues and at other family and friend events.
Summer fairs are in swing and Michael Lewis, Alex Kemble and the Independent Kentucky team set up a booth at both the New Castle Spring Fling and the Hillview City Fair. Housed with an attractive Independent Kentucky banner and a flat screen TV which featured Lewis on CNN talking about open primaries, the crew gathered dozens of signatures on letters to Congress and a petition to support open primaries.
There are countless ways to reach out to others and build this campaign. Bob Friedman of Independent Alabama sent an email to his network asking them to write to their Congress members.
At a house party held in San Francsico, California at the home of Aaron Hammon, Jason Olson of Independentvoice.org reported that most attendees signed letters on the spot and also promised to email the letter to their networks.
100 Letters were signed at the New York City Independence Party's Spring Reception last Monday which honored several South Carolina leaders for their role in litigation which stopped the Republican Party from closing the primaries.
Nancy Ross and Gwen Mandell
On Tuesday, June 21, 2011, I was listening in on the weekly No Labels leader call when I heard a statement that I was greatly offended by (I was one of the citizen leaders/congressional district leaders for them). As a result of what I heard on that call, I wrote a letter to No Labels about the statement and let them know that I could no longer support them. I am truly disappointed.
Copy of the letter I sent to No Labels via email on Wednesday, June 22, 2011:
I am writing to you today in response to a statement that was made during the weekly call yesterday. I am not sure if it was Nancy or Kiki, but one of them made the statement that No Labels was going to focus on getting independent voters in
Catana L Barnes
President of IVON-Independent Voters of Copy of the email I received on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 in response to the email posted above: Hi Catana, Sarah A. Feldman No Labels Office: 202-588-1990
I completely understand your point of view and I'm truly sorry for any confusion the call may have caused. I just want to clarify our mission and state our case to you however, just to make sure we are on the same page. We are in complete agreement that open primaries need to be fought for, as your organization is doing. Independents make up a good part of the No Labels movement, as they do a majority of the country. We want to make sure they are enfranchised and have their voices heard.
However, as a near-term goal,
I hope that is helpful. I hope that you will consider staying involved!
Copy of the email I received on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 in response to the email posted above:
Sarah A. Feldman
Print a copy of the letter below, fill in the information, and send it to your representative in Congress.
Independent Voters of Nevada was established on 10/26/2010 by Catana L Barnes with the help and support of our affiliate organization IndependentVoting.org.
The IVON organization and this website are operated with donated materials, money and time. All donations are welcome.
Address: P.O. Box 60561 Reno, Nevada 89506
Phone number: 775-354-3812
This website is updated regularly.