Supreme Court Upholds Closed Primaries
The US Supreme Court ruled today that states can restrict participation in a primary election to the party’s own members and to independent voters. For details on the issues involved in the ruling, click here.
According to Reuters,
24 of the 50 states have some form of primary election system that restricts voting to the political party's own members or to its own members and independents. Those states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Twenty-six states have some form of an open primary system. Of those, Alaska and Utah give the party the option of opening up its primary while the others allow voters, regardless of party affiliation, to pick the primary in which they vote.
TYL strongly opposes this ruling. An individual voter, even if s/he is registered with a party should be able to vote for the candidate which s/he feels best represents her/his interest, regardless of party affiliation.
Closed primaries, combined with gerrymandering, has resulted in a system that strongly favors incumbents and places a priority on appealing to one’s political base. Closed primaries stifle debate and prevent centrist voters from playing role equal to their political force in primary elections. Closed primaries have fueled the polarization of American politics and is a major contributor to the partisanship that is plaguing American politics.