HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Should registered independent voters be able to vote in Pennsylvania primary elections? David Thornburgh, the CEO of a government reform group in Philadelphia, says absolutely.

Pennsylvania is one of nine states that have closed primary elections, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans are eligible to vote during primary season. Thornburgh says more moderate candidates would win if independent voters could take to the polls during Pa. primary elections.

“There are up to 1.4 million duly registered voters shutout of Pennsylvania primaries unlike 41 other states, and if we really believe we make best decision in elections when more people participate, then it’s the right thing to do,” said Thornburgh.

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Thornburgh also pointed out that independents are the fastest growing group in the electorate. Independent voters’ tax dollars help pay for primary election expenses despite being excluded from voting in them.

Critics say that nobody is being blocked from voting; Simply register as a Democrat or Republican and then vote in the primary election. A bill to open Pennsylvania’s primary elections reached the Senate last session, but was stalled in the House.

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