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AL Republicans Push Party Registration & Closed Primaries

Written by on July 1, 2022
Ballot Box
Ballot Box

Morgan County Republicans and one current State Senator involved in an election controversy are looking to change the way election primaries work in the state of Alabama by requiring every voter in the state to choose a side.

A resolution document sent to me that would be discussed at a Morgan County Republican Executive Committee meeting, seeks to encourage the state Republican party to lobby the Alabama legislative body for changes to state law that would require closed primaries and party registration in the state.

The resolution states a need for party registration because, “open primaries have led to Democrat voters’ ability to legally cross over party lines and vote in the primary of the Republican party and influence who the Republican nominee will be in the General election, Delegates to the Republican National Convention, and County and State Republican Executive Committee positions.”

You can view the document by clicking here or scroll down to the end of the page.

Why Closed Primaries

In a closed primary, only voters registered with a given party can vote in that party’s primary. States with closed primaries include party affiliation in voter registration so that the state has an official record of what party each voter is registered as.

This attempts to preserve a political party’s freedom of association by helping ensure that only members of the party influence that party’s nominees.

Republicans are paying more attention to this now after an OpEd written by Anton DiSclafani, who is described as a novelist and professor of writing at Auburn University and a left-leaning Democrat, claimed that she chose a Republican ballot while voting in the election and her vote was the difference between incumbent Tom Whatley losing or tying with challenger Jay Hovey. Whatley lost the election by one vote but that election has now been challenged by Whatley due to a provisional ballot controversy.

Whatley, who sponsored the bill that prevented cross-over voting in primaries in Alabama, told 1819 News that if he is elected again, he also would push for party registration for the state saying, “If I am returned to office, I promise I will make election integrity my number one priority in the next session by re-introducing party registration in our state.”

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