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Free Citizen

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

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, May 10, 2010

Action Likely to Benefit McCain

Arizona registers voters by party, and state law says that independents may vote in either the Republican primary or the Democratic primary.[1]

The state Republican Party had been considering filing suit against the law, but the GOP recently gave up on the idea, at least for this year.

"While some members argue that Republicans should be choosing the party's nominee, state GOP spokesman Matt Roberts said the group decided to hold off until at least next year..."

This decision will presumably help U. S. senator John McCain in the August Republican primary. McCain is being challenged in the primary by former Congressman J. D. Hayworth, who is believed to appeal more to the staunch conservatives who are registered Republicans. McCain, on the other hand, has demonstrated a strong appeal to independents, both in Arizona and in other states' presidential primaries.

In 1986, the U. S. Supreme Court empowered parties to invite independents to vote in their primaries (Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut). To my knowledge, however, Arizona is the only state other than Nebraska which mandates that parties let independents vote in their primaries. The law in the Cornhusker State only applies to primaries for the U. S. Congress, whereas Arizona's law covers primaries for state offices as well as Congress.

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[1] In 2007, the Libertarian Party, which sometimes has contested primaries, won an exemption from the law in U. S. district court (Arizona Libertarian Party v. Brewer).

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