Now that the conventions are over for both the DNC and RNC, maybe we can start getting into which of these candidates would best run the country for at least the next four years. I am a registered independent and have been my entire voting life. My voice is silenced in numerous states, if I lived there, during the primary contests which should also be changed immediately! My affiliation or lack of one should not disqualify me from voting for a particular candidate that will directly impact my life, as elected officials always do.

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There are 29 states that have closed or a variation of it in their primaries, as listed here:

  • *Alaska – 736,732 (Alaska utilizes hybrid primary system. Parties decide who may vote in their primary elections. The Alaska Democratic Party, Alaska Libertarian Party and Alaskan Independence Party allow any registered voters. The Alaska Republican Party allows only registered Republicans, nonpartisan or undeclared voters.)
  • *Arizona – 6.731 million (Unaffiliated voters, voters registered as independents and voters registered as members of unrecognized parties may vote in the partisan primary election of their choice.)
  • *California (Republicans only) – 38.8 million
  • Colorado – 5.356 million
  • Connecticut – 3.597 million
  • Delaware – 935,614
  • District of Columbia – 658,893
  • Florida – 19.89 million
  • Hawaii – 1.42 million
  • *Idaho (Republicans only) – 1.634 million
  • Iowa – 3.107 million
  • Kansas – 2.904 million
  • Kentucky – 4.413 million
  • Louisiana – 4.65 million
  • Maine – 1.33 million
  • Maryland – 5.976 million
  • *Nebraska – 1.882 million (For congressional elections, unaffiliated voters may vote in any party’s primary. An affiliated voter is required by law to vote in his or her party’s primary.)
  • Nevada – 2.839 million
  • *New Hampshire – 1.327 million (Unaffiliated voters must affiliate to vote in a primary but may disaffiliate after the primary.)
  • New Jersey – 8.938 million
  • New Mexico – 2.086 million
  • New York – 19.75 million
  • *Oklahoma (Republicans only) – 3.878 million
  • Oregon – 3.97 million
  • Pennsylvania – 12.79 million
  • *South Dakota (Republicans only) – 853,175
  • *Utah (Republicans only) – 2.943 million
  • Washington – 7.062 million
  • Wyoming – 584,153

A total of 168,041,567; factoring in the voting age percentage which is 64.9%, that leaves the potential of 109,058,977 voters silenced in these states. That is more than a third of the total population of the entire country. This should disturb all of us, not just those that live in these particular states. Each one of us are supposed to have a voice in our election process, but it would appear that the voices are either quieted or silenced.

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You can help to change this! We all hear our friends and neighbors, co-workers and family members complain about how things are and that some feel helpless to do anything about it. This is simply not true! You have to start in your neighborhood, at the water cooler, at the next get together or on social media to affect change. Standing or sitting around complaining about it does nothing unless you’re complaining to the right people; your local, city and state officials! Even if you couldn’t voice your vote during the primaries, the general election is open to all! Make you voices count! Let these officials know what you really think about the job performance!

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This election is too important to just stand on the sidelines! Make sure that you’re registered and get out and vote!

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