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Full Version: Unaffiliated Colorado voters can participate in Republican primary
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In the 1980s I had a roommate who was a registered member of the Republican party. He always voted in Democratic party primaries, casting his vote for the less popular Democratic candidates. He told me that many members of both parties did this. There was no way to confirm what he told me but he was an honest man. I had no reason to disbelieve him.

So zoom forward to 2022 and a federal judge just dismissed a lawsuit by 5 Republican state party central committee members who tried to get an injunction to prevent unaffiliated voters from (in my own words, "diluting the Republican party votes" for their own primary candidates). The judge's decision was based on rules of standing.

I don't know if this ruling could affect primary elections across the country. The story doesn't go into much detail.

When I was younger, I used to think it was unethical for people to cross party lines to vote in competitive primaries. It's my understanding they only do this if they are confident their own primaries won't be close competiitions.

On the other hand, all state taxpayers pay for these elections. So I was kind of surprised that the article didn't mention anything about disenfranchisement. I don't know if that is an issue with unaffiliated voters casting ballots in primaries.

*=> I have never voted in a primary election. I've always been unaffiliated. I've voted for Republican, Democratic, and Independent candidates throughout my life, although for most of my adult life I favored conservative candidates on the basis of their supposed support for issues like "less government spending", "rule of law", etc.

All the Republican talking points have, in my opinion, proven to be B.S. They run up the deficits when they control Congress and they complain about deficits when they're trying to regain control. As for "rule of law" - well, what politician has ever really held himself to that standard when accused of wrongdoing? They're all innocent, all the time, and above the law (apparently). We need a stronger apolitical system for holding everyone accountable, in my opinion.

But to get back to the point at hand: the 5 Republican party members don't have standing. They "must prove they suffered an injury that affects them in a personal and individualized way and there is a likelihood that the injury could be redressed by a favorable decision by the court on the merits of the case."

Okay, I can accept that. But then, that raises the question (in my mind) of whether a political party could file a lawsuit like this. And, if so, would other factors (such as that the primary is paid for by taxpayers) be used to stop such an injunction.

Should a state government fund a private election? I don't think so. But is this a matter of law or is it a theoretical point that hasn't been tested?

I may come back to this thread if I find further information that addresses my question. If anyone else has something to share on that point, please feel free to do so.
Off the top of my head, I'd say that the govt. shouldn't fund a private the presidency of a garden club. Unfortunately, even though a 2-party system wasn't envisioned by the founders, we have given it legitimacy I'm our laws and procedures. (Committee assignments, chairmanships, even office assignments are legally assigned by party affiliation in Congress. So we're stuck with it. Especially since parties would be just as happy to determine nominees by local conventions, as they were on our youth. That would be the easy way to keep non party members out.

An obvious flaw with the primary system is the 2016 election - few actual Republicans who attended precinct meetings, volunteered, etc. wanted a non-political former Democrat such as Trump, but millions of random peopke who often vote Republican did. A lot of "normal" Republicans like Romney just couldn't endure him. Others, like most of the elected officers in my state of SC, simply went with the winner and tried to make the best of it. It’s a little different here, because the unaffiliated voters here are mainly conservative whites anyway, the people the GOP wants to attract anyway. There just aren't enough liberal Democrats who would cross over to make that kind of impact.
The primary system developed after the 2-party system. The parties used to nominate their candidates through private conventions without spending public funds. I don't know what the justification for moving to a primary system was. And I don't know if the Iowa caucuses are subsidized by taxpayers, but I think they should be privatized.

At the very least, I'm not happy with the primary system and I'd rather my tax money didn't pay for it.
The short, over-simplified answer is that people from the general population wanted more of a say in who the parties nominated. That included independents who might suddenly support a particular candidate, and want to make sure that person was on the ballot.  That also included loysl party voters who weren't involved in leadership roles, and so would never be at a convention to voice their opinion. 

I think the caucuses are pretty low-budget  - they use gyms and community centers and people's living rooms, usually for free. So maybe a custodians salary for a day, but not much more.