Alabama Republican Party passes resolution in favor of closed primaries

Published: Aug. 13, 2022 at 5:06 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Republican Party gathered for their bi-annual summer meeting in downtown Montgomery Saturday.

At the meeting, the party’s executive committee overwhelmingly passed a resolution in support of party registration and closed primary elections.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama is one of 15 states with an open primary, meaning you don’t need to register as a Republican or Democrat to vote. This allows supporters of one party to vote in another party’s primary.

But now, Alabama’s Republican party wants to change that. It’s why the governing body approved a resolution calling for the legislature to require voters to register with a party before they can vote in that party’s primary.

“The democrats need to elect the democratic candidates and the republicans need to elect the republican candidates,” said Republican House District 2 Nominee Ben Harrison.

“I think a closed primary is good for both parties because what both parties want is their voters voting in their primary,” said House District 3 State Representative Andrew Sorrell.

The resolution pushing for closed primaries passed with 81% of the vote. The resolution now heads to the legislature for consideration.

“Some of the legislatures have resisted it in the past, I don’t think they will this time,” Harrison said.

“If we have people pre-register and say ‘I’m a republican or I’m a democrat or I’m an independent’ then that will help us make sure that only republicans are voting in the republican primary,” Sorrell said.

Opponents of the resolution say this could decrease voter turnout and disenfranchise over half the republican leaning voters in the state.

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