Is it time to change the way Missourians vote in primaries?
Republicans think so. At a party gathering last weekend, they voted to recommend a switch from the state’s open primary system to a closed system.
That means only members of the Republican party could vote in a primary, such as the recent Missouri presidential primary.
The General Assembly would have to approve any change.
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“It keeps the other party from tampering in your primaries, for the most part,” GOP state chairman John Hancock told the Associated Press.
Missouri voters now can choose whether to vote in a Republican or Democratic primary, regardless of party affiliation. A closed primary system would allow only registered Republicans to pick GOP nominees.
From the AP:
Hancock said the idea of closed primaries is to keep Democrats from voting in Republican primaries and vice versa.
Hancock said Republicans have discussed closing primaries for years. He said pushback has included concerns that required party registration would help Democrats, who then could access a list of voters who identify with that party.
Democratic state committee chairman Roy Temple said he hasn't heard of any formal proposals related to party registration.
But he said there's still time before the Democratic state convention in mid-June. He said if it comes up, it likely will be a source of “vigorous debate.”
“There are some activists who believe that choosing the nominee should be left to those people most actively involved, and if you want to choose the nominee then you should be an active member of the party,” Temple said. Others want “as broad a participation in the process as possible.”