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What is Independent Voters of America?
Independent Voters of America is a clearing house of ideas and information for independent voters – ideas and information that are not filtered through the typical partisan two-party nonsense or through the biases of the traditional mass media.
We will provide thought-provoking content and information that we hope will stimulate new ideas and bring fresh voices and more choices into the political system.
Why is IVA being launched now?
When Congress has an 11% approval rating, when the legislative and executive branches of our government would rather argue than get anything accomplished, when the government threatens to shut down every year, when our elected officials fail to make our economy secure, when nobody even pretends to care about working together to solve the real problems we have—well, we’ve lost control of our government.
Our highest levels of elected officials no longer fear or feel accountable to the voters. 2012 is an important election year. Now is the time to send a message and begin to regain control of our government.
What is the organization’s mission?
We intend to build the largest group of self-identified independent voters in the country, in order to act as a counterweight to the two major political parties and to try to reduce the partisan gridlock that is paralyzing our country.
Independent Voters of America also intends to make our government more accountable to its citizens by using the only power politicians understand: our ability to put them in – or remove them from – elected office.
What is a “self-identified Independent voter”?
Independent voters tend to vote for whomever they believe is the best candidate in any election, regardless of political party. However, because of the two-party control of our politics, in many states, voters must register as Republicans or Democrats, especially to take part in primary elections.
Self-identified independent voters are voters who consider themselves independent even though they may be registered with one of the two major political parties, or with so-called “third” parties such as the Green Party or the Libertarian Party.
Self-identified independent voters see themselves first and foremost as individual citizens and, as such, make up the most diverse group of voters in the United States. Generally speaking, independent voters tend to be younger (under the age of 45), better educated, and have a good grasp of personal technology. Many are disgusted with the current political system, and the further away they are from the federal government’s influence on their lives, the better they like it. However, despite their disgust with government inefficiency and ineffectiveness and the gridlocked partisan political climate, independent voters are not disengaged. In fact, independent voters have high levels of volunteerism, and the more a cause or issue directly affects their community or their everyday lives, the more involved independents will get in that cause or issue.
What is IVA’s goal?
The goal of Independent Voters of America is to become the largest group of “free agent” swing voters in the country, and to inject accountability back into our government and our politics, so we start electing candidates on the basis of results, not rhetoric.
Is IVA associated with any specific political party or group?
No. We intend to be an equal opportunity offender of both political parties. And why not? It’s inarguable that they have run our country into a ditch, and they display no inclination to work together on ways to get us out of the ditch or to solve the many, many problems Americans are facing in their daily lives.
Is Independent Voters of America a new political party?
No. Nor do we aspire to become one.
The two major political parties in America are most interested in control. They want to control the political process, they want to control their candidates, they want to control the government, and most of all, they want to control the flow of money and tax dollars in this country. Because of this, elected officials in Washington no longer believe they must respond to voters; they believe they control the voters.
Independent voters don’t want to be controlled. To a large part, we are happiest when politics and government leaves us alone. We want to be free to do with our lives as we see fit, and the same goes for our votes.
We are first and foremost a group of individuals. Being a “free agent” voter means each independent voter makes up his or her own mind, and votes in his or her own best interests in any given election. We vote for whomever we feel is the best candidate, regardless of what the political parties or the press tells us.
And if we don’t like any of the candidates, we reserve our right NOT to vote. Independent voters generally don’t believe in strategic voting, or voting for the lesser of two evils, or voting for the least worst candidate. Just look where that kind of voting has gotten us today.
What outcomes does IVA hope to achieve?
We want to build the largest group of self-identified independent voters in America; to bring fresh voices and more choices into our politics; to act as a counterweight to the two major political parties; and to reduce gridlock, force progress and bring a new accountability to Washington.
Is the purpose of IVA to disseminate information or act as a rallying point for independents? Or both?
Both. For too long, the established political parties in this country have derided the power of self-identified independent voters and made them feel like outliers in our political system. In truth, self-identified independent voters make up a plurality of the electorate, and as swing voters, we are the deciding vote in every close election. Independent Voters of America exists to remind you that you are not alone, and to put you in touch with other independent voters.
Does IVA have a political reform agenda?
It’s no secret that America’s political system is badly in need of reform. What we have now just isn’t working. But we have no set agenda – our members will decide whatever political reforms we care to espouse and embrace.
Who is forming IVA?
Independent Voters of America was founded and formed by Bill Hillsman, the author of Run The Other Way, an expose´ of America’s political system and election industry. Mr. Hillsman is a long-time political independent who has consulted for independent candidates and office holders in California, Texas, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia and other states.
How is IVA funded?
Independent Voters of America is currently self-funded, but we will be securing content sponsorships and contextual advertising partners in the near future to bolster our activities on behalf of independent voters.
If I am a registered Democrat or Republican, can I still participate in IVA?
Yes. Because of the closed nature of our political system, in many states, registering as an independent voter is not an option. In those states, just to participate in defining events such as party primaries, voters have to be registered as Democrats or Republicans. Even though these voters identify as independents, they must register as something else just to participate. And many independent voters will temporarily register as Republicans or Democrats because it is the only way they can have a say in choosing the candidates they will ultimately have to choose among.
How do I sign up to be a member of IVA?
You can sign up for email updates, “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can also review and sign the Independent Voters of America We Believe Manifesto. Naturally, we encourage you to do ALL of these to show your support.
Does IVA accept advertising?
We may accept advertising if it becomes a good source of information for our members, a viable way to fund additional growth of the organization, and assists us in moving into new forms of media to help communicate our goals and mission.
We reserve the total and exclusive right to accept or reject any advertising, to request changes in advertising we believe could be misleading or confusing to our members, and we do not intend to accept advertising from organizations other than those with relevance to the growing Independent Voters of America community.