South Dakota House Blocks Measure to Allow Independents to Vote In All Primaries

A measure proposed by Republican State Rep. Drew Dennert to open all primaries in the state to independent voters died in the State House Monday.

South Dakota currently has a semi-closed partisan primary system where the parties get to decide whether or not to allow independent voters to participate in their taxpayer-funded primary elections.

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Democrats and Libertarians open their primaries to independent voters, while Republicans and the Constitution Party restrict participation to members only.

“This is a fairness issue. Independent voters in the state should be allowed to participate,” says Dennert. He called it a “good policy that voters want to see.”

It appears though members of his party want to hold on to the established way of doing things, even as more and more voters let go of the party label and register independent.

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