NY’s Closed Primary Unlikely To Change Despite Voter Complaints

Newsday’s Emily Ngo takes a look at the chances of changing New York’s law requiring closed primaries where only enrolled party members can vote.

“The system was created by the state in 1911, “and it’s been closed ever since,” said election law expert Jerry Goldfeder.

“We believe that enrollees of a party should make the decision as who the nominees are for the party,” he said of the founding principle, adding that there’s not enough political will to do things differently.”

Ngo quotes SUNY Buffalo Law Interim Dean James Gardner, an expert on state law:

“The decision of whether to open or close a primary and to what degree is up to the political parties,” he said.

“Gardner said the system is based on a democratic theory that “this is the right way to produce the most accountable political system.”

A bill introduced by Suffolk County State Assembly Member Fred Thiele would end New York’s closed primary system.









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