Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Crapo Not a Fan of Closed Primaries

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 11:30 AM

At least one of Idaho's top Republicans isn't thrilled with the idea of a closed primary system.

"I've always felt that an open primary worked for Idaho and that's what we should pursue," Idaho senior U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo told Citydesk.

Crapo's remarks came as the Idaho House prepared to take up a new version of Senate Bill 1198, which could lay the groundwork for political parties to limit participation in their primaries to only those registered in their party. The measure comes in the wake of a federal court ruling that threw out Idaho's 38-year-old open primary law.

A previous version of SB 1198 included a provision that would have allowed party chairmen to ignore party rules and swing open the gate for independents to vote in primaries. But over the objections of closed-primary proponents, the loophole was removed.

Crapo said he's still optimistic for a compromise.

"I would certainly hope that a system can be put together that would give maximum opportunity to give all voters the chance to participate in a primary," said Crapo. "Maybe it could involve some kind of same-day registration for a particular party that is holding a primary."

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