Jennifer Bullock is one of more than 1.1 million registered independent voters shut out of Pennsylvania's primary elections.
"We should have full voting rights across the board at every election," said Bullock, who is coordinator of PA Independents. "We are more likely, I know I am, more likely to look at a candidate for what they stand for vs. what their party is."
This year there are more candidates than ever, with wide-open races for Governor and a U.S. Senate seat. There's also a crowded field for state House races due to redistricting and everyone, whether you vote or not, pays for the elections.
"I can't imagine a more blatant example of taxation without representation than this," said David Thornburgh, the CEO of the Committee of 70, a Philadelphia-based non-profit, nonpartisan organization formed in 1904.
He, along with Bethlehem-based T.J. Rooney, a former state representative, and chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, and Alan Novak, former chairman of the state's Republican Party, formed Ballot PA, a grassroots effort to open up primaries.
They were at the capital launching a renewed push to support current legislation to do so.
"It is good for parties because I want to be on the receiving end and I want to welcome these folks into the Democratic Party because at the end of the day we want to convince them to vote for our candidates," Rooney said.
The legislation would allow independents to vote for primary candidates of a single party. It's not new. In 2019, a similar bill passed in the Senate but never made it out of the House. Novak says he knows why.
"A lot of roiling going on at the grassroots level, particularly on the Republican side. That is causing members who otherwise might be inclined to be persuaded to step back and say talk to me later," Novak said.
Democratic Sen. Lisa Boscola, who has had open primary bills in the past, thinks if passed it would upset the apple cart and shake things up, which she says many don't want.
We contacted both the Republicans and Democrats who voted against it without answer.
"I prefer the closed primaries," said Joe Vichot, the head of the Lehigh County Republican Committee.
He says despite the rise of independents, it's still the party's role to elect one of its own for the general election.
"Sometimes you really have to take that responsibility if you want that voice to really come and join," he said.
Bullock thinks the old school thought of some sort of shenanigans going on during an open primary still persists. Novak says they've researched the topic and have seen no evidence of that being the case.
Those for open primaries say it would force candidates to campaign on a broader message rather than pandering to the extremes of the party.
However, will it pass?
Thornburgh, Rooney and Novak are taking a grassroots approach to garner support. The trio has been visiting civic organizations and community members across the state. All three say if it does pass it won't happen before this election cycle.