PA Facts & Figures
Independents as second-class citizens
Who are Independent Voters?
Independents are not a uniform body. We subscribe to diverse views across the political spectrum—left, center and right. Whatever those differences, independents are united in the realization that if we want to move forward as a country, we have to do something about partisanship and the domination of the political process by the special interests.
How many are in Pennsylvania?
Over 1 million Pennsylvanians are registered independents/third parties (2009)—(almost 12% of all registered PA voters) up from 381,000 (1994) that's a 257% increase in 10 years—while Democratic and Republican registration has been steadily declining.
The Pennsylvania electoral system actively discriminates against independents. In 2016 independent candidates running for president or statewide office are required to submit over 21,000 signatures from registered voters to get on the ballot. This number is determined by the district-by-district electoral formula (2% of a recent winner’s vote total).
In it's worst year in recent history, 2006, this number reached 67,070 signatures, an almost insurmountable task given Democrats and Republicans each required only 2,000 signatures...and independents' signatures are challenged in highly contested elections.
Over 40% of all Americans now self-identify as independents, regardless of voter registration. Since the mid-1980s, the Republican Party has slightly increased and Democratic Party registration has decreased by 10%. More Americans are registering outside the two major parties because they want to get away from the extreme partisanship and political corruption that dominates the political process.
Is there an "Independent Party" in Pennsylvania?
No. There are many third parties (e.g., Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Unity). However, there is no party per se for independents. We work to bring together all independents across the spectrum of political thought to make our democracy more inclusive for all.
Can Independents vote in the Primaries?
The unfortunate answer is NO. We are excluded from the primaries...even though we pay for them! We are currently one of 13 states that has fully closed primaries for both parties.