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FW: Prez. Primaries/Caucuses--Quick Look at other states' policies


Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 10:32:27 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Marilyn Marks
46096A0B-30EF-47D5-8D68-B3054797A107.png

From: Marilyn Marks


Date: Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 10:26 AM
To: All Colorado state senators and representaHves
Subject: Prez. Primaries/Caucuses--Quick Look at other states' policies
Republican Senators and Representatives,
The chart below shows that closed presidential primaries and caucuses are in wide use across the US.
(See red font for closed status.) Colorado should not hesitate to keep our nomination processes closed,
although with same-day affiliation Colorado is more open than closed. Several states construct their
primary law to permit the parties to opt-in to a primary, and to choose whether to accept Unaffiliated
voters. See yellow highlights on the chart below. Also note the waiting periods for newly affiliated voters.
Thank you for considering the complexities of the many options for Colorado. Finding the best solution
takes far more time and input than late-session rushed decisions. Please halt any consideration of
HB1454 and permit the voters to offer considerable input on this complex topic.
From FairVote.org (highlights mine)

Who Can Vote in Presidential Primaries?


Democratic PrimariesRepublican Primaries
Closed Open Semi-Closed

Page 1 of 8

Closed Open Semi-Closed


Open primaries: voters of any affiliation may vote in the primary of any party (but may vote in only one primary).
Closed primaries: only voters registered with a given party can vote in that party's primary.
Semi-Closed primaries: unaffiliated voters may choose which party primary to vote in, while voters registered with a party
must vote in that party's primary.
Scroll over states on the Republican map to see how delegates in those states are apportioned! (Democrats apportion all
delegates proportionally, according to percent vote earned).
A note on closed primaries: In a few states, independent voters may register with a party on Election Day. However, they
must remain registered with that party until they change their affiliation again. A handful of states even allow voters
registered with one party to switch their registration at the polls to vote in another party's primary. In these rare instances, a
closed primary can more closely resemble open or semi-closed primaries than the closed primaries of other states. Such
states are still considered "closed," however, so be sure to refer to the "Remarks" column for your state to see if that is the
case.
State
SemiGOP Delegate
Closed
Open
Remarks
Source
(Red-Closed)
Closed
Distribution
No party affiliation
required at registration.
At primary you must
state party preference,
Ala. Code
Proportional with
Alabama
D
R
can't vote in more than
17-13-7, -101. 20% threshold
one party's primary,
and Ds must declare
party 36 days before
primary.
Both parties in Alaska
Alaska Stat.
Proportional with
Alaska
x
conduct closed
15.25.010,
13% threshold
caucuses.
.014, .060.
Only voters registered
with a party can vote in Ariz. Rev Stat
that party's primary.
16-467;
You must be registered Ariz. Att'y
Arizona
x
Winner take all
with a party at least 29
Gen. Op. No.
days before the
I99-025 (R99election to vote in its
049)
primary.
Ark. Code
No party affiliation
Proportional with
Arkansas
x
Ann. 7-7required at registration.
15% threshold
306-308
Modified Closed
Primary - Parties can
authorize non-partisan
voters to participate in
their presidential
primaries. Democrats
Winner take all
authorize No Party
Cal Elec Code statewide and by
California
R
D
Preference voters to
13102(c)
congressional
participate in their
district
primaries. Republicans
have not authorized No

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Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

have not authorized No


Party Preference
voters to participate in
their primary.
Closed Caucuses in
both parties. Must be
registered with parties
at least two months
prior to primary.

District of
Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

CRS 1-3-101
(1), CRS 1-3101 (2), 1-4602 (5)

Delegates elected
at district and
state conventions,
and bound as
they declare
Winner take all
above 50%,
otherwise
proportional with
20% threshold
statewide and
winner take all by
congressional
district

Parties may choose to


allow for semi-closed
elections if they make a
change to their party
rules; however, as of
now, the primaries
remain closed.

Conn. Gen.
Stat. 9431, 9-59

Only voters affiliated


with a particular party
may vote in its primary.

D.C. Code
Ann. 11001.05(b)(1);
1-1001.07(g);
1-1001.09(g)
(1).

Winner take all

Del. Code
Ann. tit. 15,
3110 (West)

Proportional with
15% threshold

Fla. Stat. Ann.


101.021
(West)

Winner take all

21-2-224

Proportional with
20% threshold

Unregistered voters
can register to vote and
choose a party on
primary day, whereas
already registered
voters with no party
affiliation cannot
affiliate on primary day.
Only voters affiliated
with a particular party
may vote in its primary.
All registered voters,
including those without
party affiliation, are
entitled to receive nonpartisan ballots and
vote in local elections
that may be held in
conjunction with a
primary.
No party affiliation
required at registration.
Closed Caucuses in
both parties. Can
register at caucus dayof with either party.
Closed primary for
GOP; Open Caucus for
Democrats
No party affiliation

Proportional
Idaho Code
Ann. 34904A

Proportional with
20% threshold

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Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

No party affiliation
required at registration.
Voters declare their
party affiliation at the
polling place to a judge
who must then
announce it "in a
distinct tone of voice,
sufficiently loud to be
heard by all persons in
the polling place." If
there is no challenge
the voter is given the
primary ballot for his or
her declared party.
No party affiliation
required at registration.
Classified as a
modified open primary.
A voter must have
voted in the last
general election for a
majority of the
nominees of the party
holding the primary, or
if that voter did not vote
in the last general
election, that voter
must vote for a majority
of the nominees of that
party who is holding
the primary. However,
there is really no way
to enforce this, and
cross-over occurs
often.
Only voters affiliated
with a particular party
may vote in its caucus.
However, voters may
change their party
affiliation on the day of
the caucus.
Voters must be
afflliated with a party in
order to vote in that
party's caucus.
Unaffiliated voters may
declare a party on
caucus day, but already
affilliated voters can
change their affilliation
up to 21 days before
the caucus, and no

10 Ill. Comp.
Stat. Ann.
5/7-43; 5/744; 5/7-4.

Statewide
delegates are
winner take all,
congressional
district delegates
elected directly on
ballot and bound
as they declare

Ind. Code
3-10-1-6; 310-1-9

Winner take all


statewide and by
congressional
district

Iowa Code
Ann.
43.38; 43.42
(West)

Delegates
awarded
proportionally,
rounded to the
nearest whole
number.

Kan. Stat.
Ann. 253301, 253304; 2014
Kansas Laws
Ch. 2 (H.B.
2210)

Proportional with
10% threshold

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Kentucky

the caucus, and no


later.
Only voters affiliated
with a particular party
may vote in its primary
(Democrats) or caucus
(GOP).

Louisiana

Closed. Statute allows


parties to open
primaries to unaffiliated
voters if they wish.
Neither has.

Maine

Closed Caucuses in
both parties.

Maryland

Massachusetts

Both parties hold


closed primaries.
Parties may choose to
hold open primaries,
but must notify the
State Board of
Elections 6 months
prior.
Affiliated voters must
vote in the primary of
their party; however,
unaffiliated voters may
vote in either primary
and remain unaffiliated.
Must register three
weeks before the
primary.
Voters do not have to
declare a political party
to vote; but must vote
for all one party once
they enter the voting
booth.

Ky. Rev. Stat.


Ann.
116.055
(West)

Proportional with
5% threshold

La. Rev. Stat.


Ann.
18:1280.21

Proportional with
20% threshold
statewide, no
threshold for
congressional
district delegates

Me. Rev. Stat.


tit. 21-A,
111, 340

Proportional with
10% threshold

Maryland
Board of
Elections

Winner take all

Mass. Gen.
Laws Ann. ch.
53, 37
(West)

Proportional with
5% threshold

Mich. Comp.
Laws
168.575

Proportional with
15% threshold

Michigan

Minnesota

Fully open caucuses

No registration by party
affiliation. However, in
order to participate in
the primary, a voter
must "support the
nominations" made in
that primary (this is
generally an
unenforceable
provision).

Miss. Code
Ann. 23-15575

Fully open, no party

Mo. Ann. Stat.


115.397

Mississippi

Missouri

Proportional with
10% threshold

Proportional with
15% threshold

Winner take all


above 50%,
otherwise winter

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Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

Fully open, no party


registration required.
Currently open
according to the law.
However, MT
Republican bylaws
require a closed
primary should the
state adopt a law that
allows parties to
choose open or closed.
Democrats run a
closed caucus.
Republicans hold a
closed primary.
Both parties hold
closed caucuses. May
affiliate day-of for
Democrats.
Closed primaries.
Unaffiliated voters must
affiliate to vote in a
primary, and can
subsequently unaffiliate
by filling out a form.
Unregistered voters
can register at the
polls. State statute
allows for semi-closed
primary if that party's
rules allow for it.
Only voters affiliated
with a particular party
may vote in its primary.
However, newly
registered voters
participating in their
first New Jersey
primary may choose
and register with the
party of their choice at
the polls. Those who
change their affiliation
must do so 50 days
before the primary
election in which they
wish to vote.
Party affiliation required
to vote in the primary.

115.397
(West)

Mont. Code
Ann. 13-10301

otherwise winter
take all by
congressional
district

Winner take all

Winner take all


statewide and by
congressional
district
Nev. Rev.
Stat.
293.287,
293.518

Delegates
awarded
proportionally

N.H. Rev.
Stat. Ann
659:14g,
654:34

Delegates
awarded
proportionally
statewide to
candidates
earning at least
10% of the vote.

N.J. Stat.
Ann. 19:3113.2;

Winner take all

N.M. Stat.
Ann. 1-12-7
(West)

Proportional with
15% threshold

Only voters affiliated


with a particular party

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New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

with a particular party


may vote in its primary
(except the
Independence Party,
which permits nonenrolled voters to vote
in their primary
elections). Voters must
register with their
preferred party one
month before the
preceding general
election in order to vote
in the upcoming
Presidential Primary.
State law provides for
closed primaries, but
both parties have
opened them up to
unaffiliated voters, who
may choose on
Election Day.
Has no voter
registration, so there is
no party affilliation.
Both parties state
requirements of party
affilliation in bylaws, but
this requires only
signing an affidavit.
No affiliation required
at registration. You may
vote the primary ballot
of the political party
with which you
currently wish to be
affiliated. If you voted
the primary ballot of a
different political party
at the previous primary,
you will complete a
statement at your
polling place confirming
the change in your
political party affiliation.
Only voters affiliated
with a particular party
may vote in its primary.
Voters may change
their affiliation up to
March 31st in evennumbered years.
Parties may declare

N.Y. Elec.
Law 8302(4)
(McKinney)

Proportional with
20% threshold

N.C. Gen.
Stat. 16359, -119

Proportional

N.D. Cent.
Code, 16.111-22

The state does


not have a
presidential
preference poll
and all delegates
are officially
unbound.
Caucuses can be
flexibly scheduled

Ohio Rev.
Code Ann.
3503.011
(West)

Winner take all

Okla. Stat.

Proportional with

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Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Parties may declare


otherwise to the State
Board of Election prior
to November of the
year before the primary
at issue. The
Democratic Party will
allow independent
voters in their primaries
in 2016 and 2017
Only voters affiliated
with a particular party
may vote in its primary.
Registration closes 21
days prior to the
election.
Only voters affiliated
with a particular party
may vote in its primary.
Voters must affilliate
with the party 30 days
before the election.
Voters must vote in the
primary of the party
with which they are
affilliated. If
unaffilliated, voters may
choose which party's
primary to vote in.
Voters can disaffilliate
90 days before a
primary in order to vote
in either party's primary
on election day. Voters
must also be registered
30 days before the
election.
No party affiliation
required at registration,
but voters must take an
oath affirming they
have not voted in any
other primary.
Parties may choose to
allow for semi-closed
elections. Democrats
have opened up their
primaries to allow
unaffiliated voters to
vote.
No party affiliation
required at registration,
but the voter must
affiliate at the primary

Okla. Stat.
Ann. tit. 26,
1-104 (West)

Proportional with
15% threshold

Or. Rev. Stat.


247.203,
254.365

Proportional

Pa. Stat. Ann.


25-1327

Winner take all


statewide,
remaining
delegates elected
on ballot and
unbound

R.I. Gen.
Laws 1715-24

Proportional with
10% threshold

S.C. Code
Ann. 7-13610, 7-131010

Delegates
awarded as
winner take all
statewide and by
congressional
district.

S.D. Codified
Laws 12-626

Winner take all

Tenn. Code

Proportional with

Page 8 of 8

Tennessee

affiliate at the primary


polling location or
declare their allegiance
to the party (much like
Mississippi's loyalty
oath).
No registration by
party; voters are not
held to affiliation of past
election. Each year,
voters have a clean
slate and must choose
on primary day whether
to vote by a party
affiliation or as
unaffiliated.

Texas

Utah GOP runs closed


caucus. Utah
Democrats run an open
caucus

Vermont

No registration by party

Virginia

Any registered voter is


eligible to vote in
Presidential Primary.

Utah

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Democrats hold an
open caucus: anyone
can participate,
(registered voters who
consider themselves
Democrats may vote);
17 year olds who will
be eligible on/before
the next election may
also vote. Republicans
hold a closed caucus,
and voters must be 18
Technically a closed
system, but all parties
allow any voter who is
not registered with an
official party to request
their ballot for the
Primary Election.
No party affiliation
required at registration.

Tenn. Code
Ann. 2-7115 (West)

Proportional with
20% threshold

Tex. Elec.
Code Ann.
172.086
(West)

Proportional with
20% threshold

Utah Code
Ann. 20A-2107.5 (West);
2014 Utah
Laws Ch. 17
(S.B. 54)
Vt. Stat. Ann.
tit. 17,
2363, 2704
(West).
Va. Code
Ann. 24.2530; 24.2509; 24.2-544
(West).

Proportional with
15% threshold

Proportional with
20% threshold

Proportional

Wash. Rev.
Code
29A.56.010

Proportional with
20% threshold

W. Va. Code
Ann. 3-5-4,
3-5-3 (West)

Delegates elected
directly on ballot
and bound by
preference

Wis. Stat.
Ann. 6.80
(West)

Winner take all


statewide and by
congressional
district

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Wyoming

Democrats require
voters to be registered
with party 15 days
before caucus. Can
affilliate day-of at
Republican caucus.

Wyo. Stat.
Ann. 22-5212 (West)

district
The state does
not have a
presidential
preference poll
and all delegates
are officially
unbound

Last updated February, 2016.


Marilyn Marks

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