We are a state based association of independent voters and an organizing center working to connect and empower the 1.2 million Arizona voters who are registered as independents.
Our mission is to develop a movement of independent voters for progressive post-partisan reform of the Arizona political process.
We are not building a third party. Instead, we seek to diminish the regressive influence of parties and partisanship by opening up the democratic process.
Independents in the Independent Voters for Arizona network are creating new electoral coalitions that bring together independent-minded Democrats, Republicans and independents in support of new models of nonpartisan governance.
We strive for the broadest forms of “bottom-up” participation to fuel our movement building efforts. Our campaigns rely on volunteers who participate in social media outreach, educational initiatives, book club participation, phone-banking, door-to-door canvases, letter writing campaigns, legislative watch and lobbying efforts and organizational networking coalition building.
Myths about independent voters
They don’t stand for anything. Independents don't like partisanship. Partisanship means the dominance of political parties and their interests over those of the public’s interests -- in lawmaking, governing and the very conduct of our elections. When partisanship is in play, innovation is stifled. Instead, there is gridlock, ideological warfare and legislative dysfunction as the people’s interests are set aside and the parties battle it out for power and majority control. Sadly, partisanship has come to characterize the political process these days. Independents are making a statement that the believe there must be a better way. Independents often say: “I want to vote for the best person, not the party.”
They’re apathetic and don’t vote. Independents are concerned about partisanship and its corrosive effects. They want to be able to fully participate in each round of elections but are barred from doing so in, for example, Arizona’s March Presidential primaries. Independents face other structural barriers that prevent full participation. Independents are not allowed to be placed on the Permanent Early Voter List in AZ which provides for voters to automatically receive an early ballot for each election. Speaking with Arizona Horizon's host Ted Simons about this issue on the air, IndependentVoting.org President Jackie Salit explained asking independents to vote in a thoroughly partisan system is like asking someone who is allergic to peanut butter to come over and have a peanut butter sandwich.
They’re right wing conservatives. Independents span the ideological perspective but more importantly, they question the value of ideology as an organizing principle. Independents are more pragmatic in their views, often describing themselves as a mix of liberal, moderate and conservative. A common refrain among independents is “I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” In her presentation at a forum in Tempe sponsored by ASU's Morrison Institute on "Who is the Independent Voter?", Cathy Stewart reported on the results of Independent Voters for Arizona grassroots surveys across the state on why people register independent. Here are their top three reasons:
- I want to be able to vote for the best candidate, no matter what party they represent.
- I want to vote, but I don’t want any party telling me who to vote for.
- I don’t like the political climate in the state, it is far too partisan.
Independents Voters for AZ on Facebook
Testimony before the Committee on Elections
March 28, 2016
Independents Ask: Can this Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?
March 21, 2016
Patrick McWhortor - Don't Undermine the Independence of Independents
February 29, 2016