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Free Citizen

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

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NC Independents May Vote in Either Party's Primary

North Carolina is one of the three former Confederate States-- the others are Florida and Louisiana-- that registers voters by party.

Republicans in the Tar Heel State, who have invited independents to vote in GOP primaries since 1988, recently decided overwhelmingly to keep doing so.

"Republicans pushing the change argued party members should be the ones picking their nominees because independents are more inclined to back moderates.

"But many state leaders worried changing the rules could damage Republican chances to win elections in 2010.

"Unaffiliated voters have been allowed in Democratic primaries since 1996."

Mississippi is one of the states that mandates that any party's primary be open to any registered voter. Several years ago, of course, the Democrats filed a federal suit (Mississippi Democratic Party v. Barbour) against this law, since they wanted to be able to block Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries. If the law had been struck down, the Democrats said that they would invite independents to vote in Democratic primaries, while the Republicans indicated that they would keep GOP primaries open to ALL voters. Thus Republicans would have been the only voters who would have had less choice on primary day.

U. S. district judge Allen Pepper declared the Mississippi law unconstiutional. The 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, however, threw out the case on procedural grounds.

A similar lawsuit is now pending in U. S. district court in Boise, Idaho (Idaho Republican Party v. Ysursa).

Thanks to Ballot Access News for the link.


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