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Difference between revisions of "Closed primary"

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In some states, parties may have the option to invite unaffiliated voters to participate in the closed primary. Generally, unaffiliated voters will not be permitted to participate in the closed primary unless they choose to give up their independent status.<ref name=fairvote>[http://www.fairvote.org/congressional-and-presidential-primaries-open-closed-semi-closed-and-top-two#.Unphr_msiSo Fair Vote: "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed November 6, 2013]</ref>   
 
In some states, parties may have the option to invite unaffiliated voters to participate in the closed primary. Generally, unaffiliated voters will not be permitted to participate in the closed primary unless they choose to give up their independent status.<ref name=fairvote>[http://www.fairvote.org/congressional-and-presidential-primaries-open-closed-semi-closed-and-top-two#.Unphr_msiSo Fair Vote: "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed November 6, 2013]</ref>   
  
Some states used a '''semi-closed''' primary rather than a strict closed primary. A semi-closed primary allows unaffiliated voters to choose in which party primary to vote.<ref name=fairvote/>  
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Some states use a '''mixed''' primary system. In most cases this means the power to decide who can vote in a primary is given to the parties. Some parties may allow any registered voter to vote in their primary, some allow only those voters who are registered with their party, and others allow only voters who are unaffiliated to vote with their party members. Any variation of this type of mixed system is considered a '''semi-closed primary'''. Other mixed primary systems require unaffiliated voters to affiliate with a party in some way in order to vote in that party's primary. They can do this by choosing a party ballot, following their voting record, or publicly announcing which party they would like to affiliate with. The affiliation could last until the next election, until a voter requests to be changed back to unaffiliated or only for the day of the primary, depending on the state.<ref name=ncsl>[http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/primary-types.aspx ''National Conference of State Legislatures Website'', "State Primary Election Types," Accessed January 6, 2014]</ref><ref name=fairvote>[http://www.fairvote.org/congressional-and-presidential-primaries-open-closed-semi-closed-and-top-two#.UsGOh2RDvi4 ''Fair Vote'', "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" Accessed January 6, 2014]</ref><ref name=research>Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.</ref>
  
 
==Usage==
 
==Usage==
There are 12 states that use a strictly closed primary process, including:<ref name=ncsl>[http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/primary-types.aspx ''National Conference of State Legislatures Website'', "State Primary Election Types," Accessed January 6, 2014]</ref><ref name=fairvote>[http://www.fairvote.org/congressional-and-presidential-primaries-open-closed-semi-closed-and-top-two#.UsGOh2RDvi4 ''Fair Vote'', "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" Accessed January 6, 2014]</ref><ref name=research>Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing state websites and codes.</ref>
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There are 12 states that use a strictly closed primary process, including:<ref name=ncsl/><ref name=fairvote/><ref name=research/>
 
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There are 22 states that use a semi-closed primary system. These states either allow parties to choose who can vote in their primary elections or else allow voters the freedom to choose which party's primary they would like to vote in on the day of the election. Some states require voters to change their affiliation status if they choose to do this, though others allow them to remain as they were. The following states use some manner of a semi-closed primary system:<ref name=ncsl/><ref name=fairvote/><ref name=research/>
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The following 18 states use some manner of a semi-closed primary system:<ref name=ncsl/><ref name=fairvote/><ref name=research/>
 
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*[[Idaho elections, 2014|Idaho]]
 
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*[[Illinois elections, 2014|Illinois]]
 
*[[Indiana elections, 2014|Indiana]]
 
 
*[[Iowa elections, 2014|Iowa]]
 
*[[Iowa elections, 2014|Iowa]]
 
*[[Maryland elections, 2014|Maryland]]
 
*[[Maryland elections, 2014|Maryland]]
 
*[[Massachusetts elections, 2014|Massachusetts]]
 
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*[[Mississippi elections, 2014|Mississippi]]
 
 
*[[Nebraska elections, 2014|Nebraska]]
 
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*[[Texas elections, 2014|Texas]]
 
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*[[Utah elections, 2014|Utah]]
 
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*[[Virginia elections, 2014|Virginia]]
 
 
*[[West Virginia elections, 2014|West Virginia]]
 
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Revision as of 13:29, 6 January 2014

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A closed primary is a type of primary election used to chose candidates who will run in the general election.[1]

In a closed primary, only voters registered for the party which is holding the primary may vote.[2] For example, if the Republican party is holding a closed primary, then only voters registered as Republicans are permitted to vote.[3]

In some states, parties may have the option to invite unaffiliated voters to participate in the closed primary. Generally, unaffiliated voters will not be permitted to participate in the closed primary unless they choose to give up their independent status.[4]

Some states use a mixed primary system. In most cases this means the power to decide who can vote in a primary is given to the parties. Some parties may allow any registered voter to vote in their primary, some allow only those voters who are registered with their party, and others allow only voters who are unaffiliated to vote with their party members. Any variation of this type of mixed system is considered a semi-closed primary. Other mixed primary systems require unaffiliated voters to affiliate with a party in some way in order to vote in that party's primary. They can do this by choosing a party ballot, following their voting record, or publicly announcing which party they would like to affiliate with. The affiliation could last until the next election, until a voter requests to be changed back to unaffiliated or only for the day of the primary, depending on the state.[5][4][6]

Usage

There are 12 states that use a strictly closed primary process, including:[5][4][6]

The following 18 states use some manner of a semi-closed primary system:[5][4][6]

Arguments for and against

Proponents of closed primaries argue that they preserve a political party's freedom of association[4] as well as preventing members of other parties from "crossing over" to influence the nomination of an opposing party's candidate. [7]

Critics of the closed primary system argue that it exacerbates radicalization as candidates must cater to a party's, often more extreme, base rather than the political center.[4] Voters who participate in primaries are often dedicated party regulars to whom candidates must appeal to win the primary. Once emerging from the primary, candidates often must change the focus of their campaigns to appeal to a broader electorate.[2]

Critics also argue that because the closed primary often excludes independent voters, they are disenfranchised from choosing a possible nominee.[2]

Other primary systems

See also

Ballotpedia:Index of Terms

External links

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References