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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hawaii Republicans Oppose Open Primary

On March 21, the Hawaii County Republican Convention passed a resolution for a semi-closed primary system, in which independents would be the only non-Republicans invited to participate. The resolution also asks the state Republican Party, which will convene on May 15-17, to instruct the GOP state executive committee to (1) adopt a rule for a semi-closed primary, and (2) file suit against Hawaii's state-mandated open primary, which requires any party holding a primary to let any registered voter participate.

The state constitution was amended in 1978 to provide for the open primary system. Hawaii is now one of eight states with "open primary, private choice," in which each primary voter picks a party in the secrecy of the voting booth.[1]

"Any shift to a [semi]-closed primary system would require party-preference voter registration."

While party registration is certainly the most practical way of identifying voters' party preferences, it's not the only way.

"Hawaii Democrats--under pressure from [U. S.] Sen. [Daniel] Inouye and the AFL-CIO--in January, 2008 abandoned their 2006 convention decision to seek a [semi]-closed primary system."

This action was taken by the state Democratic Executive Committee.

It should be noted that Hawaii County is far less populous than the county which includes Oahu Island.

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[1] The other "open primary, private choice" states are Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Vermont. Mississippi is one of the 13 states with "open primary, public declaration," in which each primary voter publicly selects a party's ballot.

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