AN ACT TO BRING THE UNITED STATES CODE INTO COMPLIANCE WITH ARTICLE I, SECTIONS 1, 2, 3 AND 4, ARTICLE II, SECTIONS 1 AND 2, ARTICLE IV, SECTIONS 2 AND 4, AND AMENDMENTS XIV, XV, XVII, XIX, XXIV AND XXVI OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, TO ENABLE THE COMPLIANCE OF ALL STATE AND UNITED STATES STATUTES AND PRACTICES, AND TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE IN UNITED STATES PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTIONS, BY AMENDING SUBSECTION 30101 OF SUBCHAPTER 1 OF CHAPTER 301 OF SUBTITLE III OF TITLE 52 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE
   Section 1. Short title.
   THE PUBLIC AND IMPARTIAL PRIMARIES ACT
   This Act may be cited as “The Public and Impartial Primaries Act."
   Section 2. Findings and Purposes.
   Findings.
   (1) The right of citizens of the United States to general, special, primary and runoff elections that are public and impartial is a fundamental right. (2) The right of the voters of a state to nominate candidates by primary election and to select officers, or where applicable Electoral College electors, in a general, special or runoff election is a fundamental right.
   (3) The right of each voter in a state to a vote equal to that of every other voter in that state is a fundamental right. No election may provide one vote to some voters while providing more than one vote or less than one vote to other voters. No election may have one round of voting for some voters while having more than or less than one round of voting for other voters.
   (4) The privilege of running for a United States office is not limited by party membership or nonmembership. The right of citizens of the United States to exercise this privilege equally, not limited by party membership or nonmembership, is a fundamental right.
   (5) Limiting the right to vote on the basis of party membership abridges the right to vote. Limiting the privilege of candidacy on the basis of party membership abridges the right to exercise the privilege of candidacy. Either abridgment can also have a direct and damaging effect on the accurate representation of the public interest, and on effective government.
   (6)The states and Congress have the power under Article I, section 4 to regulate elections but where the Constitution expresses requirements or limitations neither Congress nor the states may add to or remove them.
   (7)An amendment to the Constitution would be required to redelegate to private entities the power to hold any election.
   (8) The people passed and ratified Amendment XXIV in 1964 to end poll taxes, and also to make United States primaries elections: governed by the Constitution and by state and federal law, public, impartial and protecting the people’s rights and privileges. Primaries were originally for the use of political parties. Parties are private associations, committees, or organizations. The people made primaries public for our own use.                    

   Amendment XXIV states in full: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied by Congress or any State by reason of failure to pay a poll tax or any tax.”
   The Poll Tax clause wouldn't require the words "primary or other". "Election" would be enough. But all text in the Constitution has meaning and purpose. Courts may not allow any claim that text has no purpose. This means the text "any primary or other election" is a clause, applying the Poll Tax clause to primaries because they are elections like the others listed. The purpose of the Primaries Clause is to state that primaries are now elections, not party functions. “Primaries are elections” is plainly expressed in the text’s language. Since numerous clauses address United States elections, the amendment’s text plainly expresses that primaries are now subject to these clauses like the other elections listed unless a difference is stated. Plain language can’t be contradicted.
   The amendment then adds that federal elections select the following: Presidents, Vice Presidents, Electoral College electors, Senators and Representatives. This includes all elective federal offices, excluding state or private offices. The list is part of both the Poll Tax and Primaries clauses. The purpose of this list in the Poll Tax clause is to apply that clause to these elections. Its purpose in the Primaries Clause is to prohibit using federal primaries for state or private elections. For example, they can no longer be used to select delegates to private party conventions. Electoral College electors are defined in Article II & Amendments XII and XX; private party delegates can’t be substituted.

    (9) Congress has yet to enact Amendment XXIV fully. Nor have the states. The courts have yet to enforce it fully. Private party primaries and caucuses persist. Some states have closed primaries, denying the primary vote to voters of no party. Second rounds of primary ballots at private national party conventions persist, granting a second primary vote to members of parties as opposed to voters of no party. Partisan control of some general electoral functions persists.
   (10) One of the United States Code's definitions of elections (52 USC section 30101-Definitions) violates the text. Because of this state and United States laws must comply with a definition that violates the people’s rights and privileges.
   (a) Article I, sections 2 and 4, Article IV, section 4, and Amendments XIV & XVII prohibit private elections for public offices, a significant change that would have to be expressed. For example, in Article I, section 2 the people of the several states reserve the right to choose Representatives.
   This defines these elections as public, held by the states, with all voters participating. Political parties are private, while elections are public. 
   In Article I, section 4 we delegate holding elections - determining their times, places and manners - to the states, under Congress. They may not abdicate it. It’s a task we assign in the text, just as "making laws" is a task we assign (Congress can’t abdicate it!). The exceptions allowed (the Electoral College’s general-election vote, and originally Senate elections) are established in the text. Any other exception would also have to be. Allowing parties to hold elections is not a manner of holding elections, it’s redelegating a governance power without Article V amendment. Nowhere in the Constitution do we delegate to parties the power to hold elections. The Constitution doesn't grant parties any governance powers at all.
   (b) Any vote on candidates at a party convention violates Article IV, section 2, and Amendment XIV’s Right to Vote, Equal Privileges and Immunities, and Equal Protections clauses by doubling party members’ rights of selection versus voters of no party. In some states, closed primaries violate the same clauses by denying the vote to voters of no party. The final tally: some voters have no vote, some have one vote, some have two.
   All of the Constitution’s selection clauses (in Article I & Amendments XIV, XV, XVII, XIX, XXIV & XXVI) include voters of any or no party. No exceptions are listed.
   Amendment XIV, section 2 states that denying the right to vote for any reason but “rebellion, or other crime” violates it. The Right to Vote clause doesn’t list belonging to a party as an allowed reason to deny the vote. This prohibits restricting any state or federal vote to members of one party or to members of parties in general.
   Article IV, section 2 and Amendment XIV’s Privileges and Immunities and Equal Protection clauses prohibit states from making or enforcing any law that abridges any United States citizen’s voting privilege, or that denies the equal right to exercise it. This prohibits restricting any vote to members of one party or to members of parties in general, denying the vote to voters of no party. It also prohibits giving anyone two ballots (for example, at a party convention) when other voters only have one.
   Party conventions may of course conduct other internal party business. But delegates can’t vote on candidates at conventions – that party’s members already voted in that primary.
   (c) Allowing political parties to nominate “party candidates” violates Article I, Article IV, Amendment XVII, and Amendment XIV’s Right to Vote, Equal Privileges and Immunities, and Equal Protections clauses by doubling party members’ rights of selection versus voters of no party.
   The Constitution gives parties no right to select or nominate; just the opposite.


One of the US Code's definitions of elections is not like the others.

Support this bill, submitted to Senators Schumer & Gillibrand and to Representative Carolyn Maloney on January 17, 2017 by RepairRestoreSafeguard.

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    Nomination is selection. The people reserve the right of selection in Article I & Amendments XIV and XVII. The Constitution doesn't allow Congress or the states to take any right the people claim, let alone grant it to parties or any other entities. Only the voters may use the primary to winnow candidates. Primary ballots must leave voters free to select any candidate of any or no party. Parties may not further restrict voters’ freedom of selection in the general election by selecting one “party candidate”.
   The public’s unrestricted selection right in Article I, sections 2 and 3 and Amendments XIV and XVII requires including independent and write-in candidates on primary & general ballots and accommodating all candidates equally. 
   (d) Parties’ nominating one “party candidate”, limiting other members’ right to run, violates Articles I and IV and Amendments XIV and XVII.
   Running for United States office is a United States citizenship privilege defined in Article I, sections 2 and 3, in Article II, section 1 and in Amendment XVII with no reference to political association.  
   These Articles list the three candidacy limitations allowed (age, citizenship, and residency). Party isn’t listed as an allowed limitation. (If a state uses ranked ballots or “top three”, for example, more than one member of a party may be on the general ballot).
   (e) Parties’ nominating delegates to the Electoral College violates Article II, section 1. Only the states may appoint delegates to the Electoral College. A state’s legislature is free to decide to appoint by popular ballot, by legislative ballot, or by executive appointment, but not to abdicate the state’s exclusive right to select and grant it to parties or to any other entities.
      (f) Allowing political parties to nominate “party candidates” violates Article I, section 2, Article IV, section 2, and Amendment XIV’s Right to Vote, Equal Privileges and Immunities, and Equal Protections clauses by doubling party members’ rights of association versus voters of no party.
   The right to associate claimed by political parties is a right of their members as individuals, not a right of a party as an entity. Treating many individuals’ rights as one right of an entity has caused errors and is not recommended. The right to associate or not to associate does not vary with membership in any organization. Members of parties and members of no party have identical rights of association.
   (g) The United States privilege of running for office may not be affected by party members’ rights of association in any way differing from that of members of no party.

   The right to associate or not with a particular candidate does not vary with membership in any organization. Party members have no greater or lesser right to reject a candidate on that basis than members of no party.
   (h) Because elections come squarely under the Establishment of Justice clause in the Preamble, in the context of elections the people’s rights to freedom of selection, to equal voting and candidacy rights and privileges, to a republican form of government, and to just, free and fair elections take precedence over the right to freedom of association.
   (i) By putting elections and electoral functions at parties’ discretion, the definition grants political parties exceptional power to affect the outcome of elections without oversight. This abridges not only the states’ and Congress' electoral powers, but the people’s rights to free and fair elections, and to governance that establishes justice.
   (11) It is the duty of the federal, state and local governments to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.                                                                                                      Purposes.
   (1) to bring Section 52 of the United States Code, Subsection 30101, Definitions, into compliance with the Primaries clause of the Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution and by that with Article I, sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, Article II, sections 1 and 2, Article IV, sections 2 and 4, and Amendments XIV, XV, XVII, XIX, and XXVI, protecting rights and privileges of citizens of the United States; 
   (2) to enable compliance in all United States primary and general elections; and           

   (3) to protect the integrity of the electoral process.      

   Section 3. Amendments.
   Section 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code is amended by the following.
    Section (1) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code is amended by omitting the dash after the word “means” and by inserting the words “a general, special, primary or runoff election.”
   Section (1) of subsection 30101 0f Title 52 of the United States Code reads as follows, indicating insertions in italics and with the omitted punctuation mark, a dash, indicated only by its absence:
   “(1) The term “election” means a general, special, primary or runoff election.”
   Section (1)(A) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code is amended by being entirely omitted.
   Indicating omission by striking: 
   “(A) a general, special, primary, or runoff election;
   Section (1)(B) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code is amended by being entirely omitted.
   Indicating omission by striking:
   “(B) a convention or caucus of a political party which has authority to nominate a candidate;
   Section (1)(C) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code is amended by being entirely omitted.
   Indicating omission by striking:
   “(C) a primary election held for the selection of delegates to a national nominating convention of a political party; and
   Section (1)(D) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code is amended by being entirely omitted.
   Indicating omission by striking:
   "(D) a primary election held for the expression of a preference for the nomination of individuals for election to the office of President."
   Section (1) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code reads in its entirety:
   “(1) The term “election” means a general, special, primary, or runoff election.”
   Section (16) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code is amended by omitting the word “an” after the word “means” and before the word “association”, by inserting the words “a political” after the word “means” and before the word “association”, and by omitting the following text,
   “which nominates a candidate for election to any federal office whose name appears on the election ballot as the candidate of such association, committee, or organization”
   Section (16) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States code reads, with insertions indicated in italics and indicating omission by striking:
   “(16) The term “political party” means ana political association, committee, or organization which nominates a candidate for election to any federal office whose name appears on the election ballot as the candidate of such association, committee, or organization.
   Section (16) of subsection 30101 of Title 52 of the United States Code now reads in its entirety:
   “(16) The term “political party” means a political association, committee, or organization.”
   Section 4. Saving clause.
   This Act affects rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.
   Section 5. Severability clause.
   If a part of this Act is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of this Act is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid ones.
   END

The Public and Impartial Primaries Act