There are at least five states looking to reform voting access in their respective primaries as the 2024 elections inch closer.
Eight states currently have closed primaries that require a voter to be registered with a specific party in order to vote, while 16 states allow voters to choose a primary to vote in. Other states, including California, have just one primary, but multiple candidates advance to the general election.
Here are some states looking at possible reforms in 2024:
Arizona’s status as a swing state has only increased in recent years. Unaffiliated voters are considered the fastest-growing voting block in the state, making up 35% of its voter population, or approximately 1.5 million voters.
Roughly 34% of registered voters in Arizona are registered as Republicans, 30% are considered Democrats. However, current Arizona law requires a voter to affiliate with a certain party to vote in the primaries or request a party’s ballot ahead of the election.
A movement inside of Arizona attempts to change the requirements by making the state hold a single nonpartisan primary that is open to all registered voters. The new primary system would require the state to list all eligible candidates on the same ballot, regardless of political affiliation, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.
A group of Idaho voters are looking to reform the state’s primary process by establishing a nonpartisan primary and creating a ranked choice voting system in general elections. The group, called Idahoans for Open Primaries, is working to garner enough signatures by May for the measure to appear on the state ballots in November.
The Idahoans for Open Primaries group is required to secure at least 63,000 signatures from registered voters and signatures from at least 6% of voters in 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts. The group has at least 50,000 signatures so far, according to the Idaho Capital Sun, but is hoping to secure 100,000 signatures by May to allow room for repeats or fake signatures.
Voters in Nevada are already working on reforming their partisan primaries after voters in 2022 approved a constitutional amendment that would open the primaries to allow unaffiliated voters to cast a ballot in the primaries. Currently, only those who are registered with a political party can vote in the primary, but the system excludes more than 627,000 active nonpartisan voters.
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