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i need a little help with the voting system

by jonah jones / March 1, 2008 2:15 AM PST

in the US...

a Yahoo article says "With John McCain well ahead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, and because Texans can vote in either party's primary, Republicans have been voting in the Democratic race, University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray said."

question: is it only Texans who are allowed to do that?
and if so, why?



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by critic411 / March 1, 2008 3:08 AM PST

The respective parties make their own rules for their own primaries in each state.

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by Dan McC / March 1, 2008 4:31 AM PST

Some states limit voting in a primary so that only those registered in a party may vote for that party's nominee. This makes perfect sense and is as it should be. Registering for a party may be as simple as declaring your party when you vote in the primary, or it can be more complicated, depending on the state.

Other states allow voters of any party affiliation or none to vote in any party's primary. If that seems to be a bit arbitrary and providing an opportunity to mischief, it is. There is little rationale for this open voting. But there you have it.


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(NT) OK, thanks Dan
by jonah jones / March 1, 2008 4:44 AM PST
In reply to: Nope
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(NT) Now, do you want to talk cuacuses?
by Dan McC / March 1, 2008 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: OK, thanks Dan
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Not only Texas...
by J. Vega / March 1, 2008 5:06 AM PST

It's called an open primary. The states that have open primaries are: Alabama,Arkansas,Georgia,Idaho,Indiana,Michigan,Minnesota,Mississippi,Missouri,North Dakota,South Carolina,Tennessee,Texas,Vermont,Virginia,Washington, and Wisconsin.

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texas also add this to the mix
by WOODS-HICK / March 1, 2008 5:40 AM PST



Texas will hold a presidential primary on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. The Primary will be open to any registered Texas voter who does not vote in another party's primary and who does not attend another party's political convention.


and the mix:

Texas Democratic Election a Primary/Caucus Hybrid, requires an extra trip to the polls

Click here for Texas rules on Democratic delegates.

I?m not going to give the full rundown yet, but let me give you the cliff?s notes version as I understand them so far:

* Texas has a two step process that is open to all registered voters.

* When you cast your vote in the Texas primary, in essence it?s only 75% of a full vote.

* 126 of Texas? 168 votes will be allocated to candidates based on the ballots cast.

* 15 minutes after the polls close (7:00 p.m.) those who voted must return to their precinct.

* This ?precinct convention? is how Texas will decide how to divide the remaining 42 delegates.

* The rules were originally put in place to insure that the Democratic hierarchy would have more say.

Texas Democratic Election a Primary/Caucus Hybrid, requires an extra trip to the polls

here in ny, you must be a registered democrat or republican and vote only in your declared party primary.

no independents, so I do not vote in the primary.

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In New Mexico............
by Mac McMullen / March 1, 2008 5:53 AM PST

Only registered voters may vote.

A person is required to declare/state a political party preference at time of registering to vote, well ahead of election day. Failure/refusal to declare a party affiliation results in a DTS (Decline To State) registration Only persons registered with a party affiliation may vote in a primary, and only in the primary of the political party declared at time of registration.

Us DTS's are not permitted to vote in any primary.

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Interesting to see the states with closed primaries.
by drpruner / March 1, 2008 10:28 AM PST

IMO it's the primaries that come closest to the stated ideal of 'one man, one vote' and 'local voters should decide local issues'. Yet, as Del and others say, independents can't be part of the tally. Also, IMO, independents would tend by definition to be more thoughtful than other voters.

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I believe that's correct
by Steven Haninger / March 1, 2008 11:54 AM PST

I can see both sides of the reason for open or closed primaries. I would think that a closed primary would tend to curb certain potential abuses. On the other hand, I'd like to choose a person from each party to make sure I had both a first and second choice of persons I could live with. But, I'm sure some would cast a vote in the opposition's primary for a candidate they thought would be weaker against their person of choice. It's too bad that controlling the thoughtless voter is more important than considering the desires of the thoughtful.

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Closed primaries are bad for me
by C1ay / March 1, 2008 10:10 PM PST

I don't like voting the party line for anything. I might be a Libertarian but I still prefer to vote for the person that most represents my POV and quite often that crosses party lines. IMO, partisanship does not result in the best government.

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The more I think about it
by Steven Haninger / March 2, 2008 5:42 AM PST

it might be good for all primaries to be open. Sure... some will try to sully the outcome and I suppose an organized effort to do so might succeed in a close enough vote. But it seems that those voters who don't want to commit to one party will have their choices severely limited. As well, it tends to strengthen the lock that the two major parties have on playing for the championship every time. You know they'll both do all they can to keep the potential "spoilers" off the field. Frankly, as long as these two parties can dominate the available government offices without fear of being knocked off, they'll just continue to bloat while accomplishing less and less.

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You are free to
by Dan McC / March 3, 2008 1:05 AM PST

start your own party. If done well yours could rise to the level of the current parties.


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Why should a non-member be allowed to
by Dan McC / March 2, 2008 5:26 AM PST

vote in a party's primary?


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Anyone can vote in any party's primary.
by Dan McC / March 2, 2008 5:28 AM PST

You just have to join the party.

Pretty simple.


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and vote for ' whoever ' in the general election ....
by WOODS-HICK / March 2, 2008 6:50 AM PST

as no one has to vote the same way as they did in a primary or caucus.

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Don't even have to "Join" the party,
by critic411 / March 2, 2008 7:27 AM PST

Just register

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