Monday was the last day Arizona Independents could’ve registered to a party to vote in next month’s Presidential Preference Election. Otherwise they could not participate in the election. It’s a deadline these Independent activists deeply resent, but voters may have the opportunity to change

the system in November. Meantime, Amanda Melcher with Independent Voters of Arizona says, a corrupt system is forcing her to masquerade as a party voter. “ The fact that I have to jump through hoops to vote in a meaningful way is evidence of that corruption,” says Melcher.

Melcher and others made their stand known Monday at the State Capitol. Along with Independents, sympathetic Democrats were also on hand to demand Independents participate in the PPE. In recent years, registered Independents are the largest voting block in the state. They stress, they’re not about being right or left. They say, they vote strictly on a candidate’s merit.

According to Independent Voting-dot-org, Republicans and Democrats in 30 states have opened up primaries to Independents. And the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the practice. A new movement called “Open and Honest” is circulating petitions to get measures on the ballot that would open primaries and expose dark money interests.

—Barbara Villa

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