HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker is renewing the push to have open primaries.
State Rep. Marla Brown (R-Lawrence) says she plans to reintroduce legislation (previously known as HB 1369) that would allow all voters to participate in primary elections.
Brown says there are over 740,000 registered unaffiliated voters in Pennsylvania who are unable to vote in primary elections.
Pennsylvania is one of nine states with closed primaries, which means voters can only vote for candidates in their own party during the May primary.
“My legislation would maintain Pennsylvania’s system of party registration but allow voters not registered with either the Republican or Democratic parties a chance to participate,” said Brown.
Last year when a similar bill came to the General Assembly supporters said having open primaries would moderate both parties and allow tax-paying third-party voters to have a say.
Critics say that third-party voters aren’t excluded from voting, they merely have to register with a party 15 days before an election and can switch every election if they choose.
Proposed by Rep. Christopher Quinn (R-Delaware) last year, HB 1369 died in committee without facing a single vote.
Pennsylvania’s 2023 primary will be held on May 16 and the general election is on November 7.