Tuesday, April 10, 2018

SC Republicans Propose Closing State's Primary Elections

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

South Carolina Republicans are taking a step toward Ending the State's Practice of Crossover Voting during Primary Elections.

What's known as Crossover Voting has happened throughout South Carolina, where All Statewide Offices are held by Republicans. All but One Member of the State's Nine Member Congressional Delegation are Republicans, and they rarely face Primary Opposition. According to Republican Officials, the GOP State Executive Committee unanimously passed a Resolution calling for a Partisan Voter Registration Option on Voter Registration forms. The House Bill would Amend Registration Laws to allow Voters to Voluntarily Disclose Party Affiliation of Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Other.

The State GOP on Monday announced it would Conduct an Advisory Referendum during this year's June Primaries asking Voters if they feel they should have the Option to Affiliate with a Political Party when Registering to Vote. South Carolina lets Parties put Advisory Questions on their Own Primary Ballots.

South Carolina currently has an Open Primary system. Voters don't Register by Party and can Vote in whichever Party Primary they Chose.

State Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick said: "By not allowing that option, the government creates a barrier that inhibits political parties in connecting with voters in a day when there is already so much apathy about politics. Political parties need to be able to do a better job of connecting with and engaging like-minded individuals in the political process, and partisan registration makes that easier."

Under the proposed Measure, the Self-Identification "may not be used to restrict or limit a voter's full discretion to participate in the primary election of his choosing."

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson called the Proposal "laughable" and "hypocrisy at its greatest," given what he sees as Republicans' efforts to make it harder for some to Vote by requiring Photo Identification and implementing other Restrictions. "His government, the Republicans that control the House and the Senate, have done everything they can to make it harder for people to vote in this state," Robertson said.

In June, Democrats are asking their Primary Voters Questions on Offshore Drilling, Medical Marijuana, and Medicaid Expansion.

Winthrop University Political Scientist Scott Huffmon said Partisan Registration could have a real but not massive Impact on the State's Election Results, particularly in Primaries. "The GOP certainly gets the votes of all those Republican-leaning independents in the general election, but people who identify as independent tend to turn out in much lower numbers in primaries," Huffmon said. "This means that the people currently voting on their nominees are already their most committed voters."

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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