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Open Primary Study Kit of the LWVFL (2017)

LWVFL’s Open Primary Study Kit was completed as of February 2017 after 22 months of effort. and was sent out to League Presidents and members of the ad hocOpen Primary Study Team across the state.

Background. Primaries first began in the early twentieth century as a response to increasingly strong party control over elections. At the time, voters wanted a larger say in who would be chosen as their candidate, instead of the long-standing tradition of party heads choosing who would run for office. Progressive reformers viewed direct primaries as a way for constituencies to increase transparency and allow for citizens to participate in the electoral process. As primaries became a feature of local, state, and eventually national elections, each municipality had the ability to shape their own process.

Today, most systems fall under two broad categories, partisan and nonpartisan primaries, with variations falling under each. Open primaries allow voters to vote in the partisan ballot of their choice. This means that political parties cannot prevent non-members from voting in their party elections. For example, voters may select from the Republican or Democratic primary ballot.

Access to the Kit. For more detailed information about the LWVFL Open Primary Study Kit,  please choose either (i) the 28 page Executive Summary of the Open Primary Study Kit or (ii) the complete 100 page Open Primary Study Kit .

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