Monday, August 15, 2016

HI Dem Party Loses Lawsuit Over its Desire to Close its Primaries

Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access news for this post.

On August 15, the Ninth Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima, ruled against the Hawaii Democratic Party, in the Party’s lawsuit that tries to obtain a closed Primary for itself. Democratic Party of Hawii v Nago, 13-17545.

Hawaii Primaries are open. Voters at the polling place choose which Party’s Primary ballot to use.

Registration forms do not ask applicants to choose a Party, or to choose independent status.

The opinion says that the very act of a voter choosing a Democratic ballot may constitute a valid form of Party affiliation.

Also, the opinion says the Hawaii Democratic Party did not provide any evidence that the Open Primary harms it. The party had argued that such evidence is almost impossible to find.

This opinion probably means that the Montana Republican Party will give up trying to win a Closed Primary for itself. Montana and Hawaii are both in the Ninth Circuit. The Montana Republican Party lawsuit had been on hold until this decision came out.

CLICK HERE to read the 13 page (PDF) opinion.

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