No Affiliation Alliance


Primary: A primary election is an election in which registered voters select a candidate that they believe should be a political party’s candidate for elected office to run in the general election. They are also used to choose convention delegates and party leaders. Primaries are state-level elections that take place prior to a general election. Pennsylvania utilizes a closed primary process. Voters are required to register with a political party to vote in the primary election.

A closed primary is a type of primary election in which a voter must affiliate formally with a political party in advance of the election date in order to participate in that party’s primary.

In 15 states, at least one political party conducts closed primaries for congressional and state-level offices. In 11 of these states, all political parties conduct closed primaries.

In the 2016 presidential election cycle, political parties in 27 states utilized closed primaries and/or caucuses as part of the presidential nominating process.

Tennessee; Section 2-7-115 of the Tennessee code stipulates that a voter must either be registered with a political party or must declare his or her affiliation with the party at the polls on primary election day in order to vote in that party’s primary.

Iowa: Section 43.38 of the Iowa code stipulates that only registered party members can vote in a party’s primary. Section 43.42 of the Iowa Code stipulates that a voter may change his or her party affiliation at the polls on primary election day and vote in the primary of a party other than the one to which he or she formerly belonged.

Illinois: A voter must publicly state his or her affiliation at the polling place in order to vote in a party’s primary

Louisiana: Louisiana utilizes a two-round electoral system in which the names of all eligible candidates are printed on the ballot. If a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the general election, he or she is elected. If no candidate wins an outright majority in the general election, a runoff election is held between the two top vote-getters. This system is referred to as a majority electoral system

Kansas; Section 25-3301 of the Kansas statutes stipulates that a voter who is already affiliated with a political party can participate only in that party’s primary. An unaffiliated voter can declare his or her affiliation with a political party on the day of the election and vote in that party’s primary. Previously affiliated voters cannot change their affiliation on the day of the election.

Oklahoma: Republican Party is closed; Section 26-1-104 of the Oklahoma Statutes stipulates that only a registered member of a political party can vote in that party’s primary. The law does grant the parties authority to determine for themselves whether unaffiliated voters may vote in their primaries.

Arizona has an open primary election

California has an open primary election

Utah has an open primary

Idaho: State law stipulates that political parties can determine for themselves who may participate in their primary elections. Unaffiliated voters can affiliate with a party on the day of the election and participate in its primary. Voters who are already affiliated with a political party must disaffiliate no later than the 10th Friday preceding the primary election in order to affiliate with another party and vote in its primary.

Montana has an open election primary

Washington State has an open primary election

Alaska; Republican party closed; State law stipulates that political parties can determine for themselves who may participate in their primary elections.

Arkansas; Has an open primary election

Alabama; democrats closed; Section 17-13-7 of the code of Alabama stipulates that political parties can determine for themselves who votes in the primary.

South Carolina has an open primary election

Georgia has an open primary election

North Carolina has an open primary election

Virginia has an open primary election

New Jersey has an open election primary

West Virginia has an open election primary

Massachusetts has an open election primary

New Hampshire has an open election primary

Vermont has an open election primary

Wisconsin: has an open primary election

Michigan has an open primary election

Minnesota has an open election primary

North Dakota has an open election primary

Wyoming has an open primary election

HISTORY of the American election process

The Constitution allowed each state to decide how to choose its presidential electors. In 1789, only Pennsylvania and Maryland held elections for this purpose; elsewhere, the state legislatures chose the electors.

Before the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment, each elector cast two votes from the selection of candidates running for president. The candidate with a majority won the presidency, and the runner-up became vice president.

Only electoral delegate’s votes are recorded here, because most states still did not select presidential electors by popular vote. Nor was there a separate vote for president and vice president until the Twelfth Amendment took effect in 1804.

The 1796 election was the first contested presidential race because of harsh partisanship between Federalists and the new Democrat – Republican Party formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; the Republicans called for more democratic practices and accused the Federalists of monarchism. Republicans favored a decentralized agrarian republic; Federalists called for the development of commerce and industry.
State legislatures still chose electors in most states, and there was no separate vote for vice president. Each elector cast two votes for president, with the runner-up becoming vice president.

The electoral system was defective and the method of electing President and Vice president often ran into tie breakers. The system was a closed event and the public did not participate and when the electors failed to choose a President – the responsibility then fell to the House of Representatives.

The 1804 election was the first held under the Twelfth Amendment, which separated Electoral College balloting for president and vice president.
The Democratic-Republican Party was an American political party formed by Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, in 1791–1793 to oppose the centralizing policies of Federalist.

There is no provision for the role of political parties in the United States Constitution.

In the first two presidential elections, the Electoral College handled nominations and elections in 1789 and 1792 which selected George Washington. After that, Congressional party or a state legislature party caucus selected the party’s presidential candidates. Nationally, these caucuses were replaced by the party convention starting in 1832 following the lead of the Anti-Masonic 1831 convention.

In 1820, the Federalists which actually was never officially a designated party, ceased to exist.

The Democrat – Republican Party broke apart in the 1824 election.

By 1820 a large majority of the states now chose electors by popular vote, and the people’s vote was considered sufficiently important to record. The nomination of candidates by congressional caucus was discredited. Groups in each state nominated candidates for the presidency.
At this time there were no conventions or primary run off.

The voter was not required to designate a political party to vote.

It is necessary to note that only white men that owned property and wealth were allowed to vote.

In the 1820 election all political denominations of candidates was allowed to run for election and in this election there were four candidates, none received a majority because of this under the new process of election the choice of president fell to the House of Representatives. This is almost representative of the system used in Louisiana referred to as a majority electoral system. The exception is Louisiana has a second general election to run off the two top voter selects.

In 1828 the emergence of two parties promoted popular interest in the election the Democratic-Republicans or simply Democrats, developed the first sophisticated national network of party organizations. The opposition party- The National-Republicans, lacked the local organizations of the Democrats, but they did have a clear platform. The 1828 election campaign was one of the dirtiest in America’s history. Both parties spread false and exaggerated rumors about the opposition. This is the turning point in the American process of elections because until then voters were still not obligated to register party designation to vote.

In 1832 a third party was introduced The Anti-Masonic; For the first time in American politics, a third party, the Anti-Masons, challenged the two major parties. The Anti-Masons convened the first national presidential nominating convention in Baltimore on September 26, 1831. The other parties soon followed suit, and the convention replaced the discredited caucus system of nomination.

In 1836 the new Whig party formed. It was the first election where the two parties held conventions to elect a candidate for president.

By 1844 The abolitionist Liberty party had formed

By 1848 the Free-Soil party was formed

The 1856 election was waged by these new political coalitions and was the first to confront directly the issue of slavery. The violence that followed the Kansas – Nebraska Act destroyed the old political system and past formulas of compromises. The Whig party that supported slavery broke apart.

Know-Nothings party was a purest born American party.


In the United States, states generally require voter registration. Some U.S. states do not require advance registration, instead allowing voters to register when they arrive at the polls, in what is called same day registration or Election Day registration. North Dakota is the only state which has no registration requirement.

Same-day registration (SDR) has been linked to higher voter turn-out, with SDR states reporting average turn-out of 71% in the 2012 United States Presidential election, well above the average voter turn-out rate of 59% for non-SDR states.

The southern states of the former Confederacy passed new constitutions and laws at the turn of the century that created barriers to voter registration, such as poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and complicated record keeping requirements.

Because of this history, voter registration laws and practices in the United States have been closely scrutinized by interest groups and the federal government, especially following passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This legislation authorized federal oversight of jurisdictions with a history of under-representation of certain portions of their populations in voting.

A 2012 study estimates that 24% of the voting-eligible population in the United States is not registered to vote, a percentage that represents “at least 51 million eligible U.S. citizens.” Numerous states have a history of creating barriers to voter registration through a variety of fees, literacy or comprehension tests, and record-keeping requirements that in practice discriminated against racial or ethnic minorities, language minorities, and other groups. Here in Pennsylvania the barrier is a deceptive enforcement of scheduling independent candidates restricting them from filing their paper work simultaneous with the democrat and republican candidates. This manipulation off an operational statute directly abridges the rights of independent voters by eliminating independent candidates from running in the primary election.

The federal government has made every effort to bring people into the voting process and in the mid-1990s, the federal government made efforts to simplify registration procedures. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (the “Motor Voter” law) required state governments to either provide uniform opt-in registration services through drivers’ license registration centers, disability centers, schools, libraries, and mail-in registration, or to allow voter registration on Election Day, where voters can register at polling places immediately prior to voting. So it is already a federal law that allows the state of Pennsylvania to use the Election Day registration process – an option of either the governor of Pennsylvania or the commissioner of the Board of Elections – it requires no debate or legislation by the assembly.

From January 1, 2016, Oregon was the first state to adopt a fully automatic (opt-out) voter registration system as part of the process of issuing driver licenses and ID cards. By April 2016 three more states – California, West Virginia, and Vermont – followed suit, and in May 2016 Connecticut implemented it administratively rather than by legislation, bringing the number of states with automatic voter registration to five
Alaskan voters approved Measure 1 during the November 8, 2016 general election, allowing residents the ability to register to vote when applying annually for the state’s Permanent Dividend Fund. Voter approval of Measure 1 made Alaska the first state to implement automatic (opt-in) voter registration via ballot initiative and the sixth state to implement automatic registration by any means including passing legislation. Several more states have drafted legislation proposing automatic registration.

At the time of George Washington’s election in 1789, only 6 percent of the population was permitted to vote.

By the start of the Civil War, most white men could vote regardless of property ownership. Some state laws required literacy testing, poll taxes, and religious tests.

Beginning after emancipation, sporadic voter registration and intelligence testing were among the methods used to prevent freed slaves from voting in local elections.

Full voter registration originated in the early 1800’s but did not require the voter to designate a party preference. State governments, were concerned with the growing participation of foreign-born people voting in local elections. As a result, they instituted voter registration to ensure that non-citizens did not vote.

Beginning in 1870 through the First World War, most states chose to register voters to avoid conflicts between disenfranchised voters and election officials at the polls. It was not unusual for riots to erupt at polling places when citizens that believed they had a right to vote were turned away by officials that often discriminated to give their own party preference an advantage at the polls.

This period saw new voter registration developments. Citizens were allowed extended periods for voter registration. The result was a significant expansion of voter participation among the working-class, the poor, and immigrants.

The Constitution left the determination of a voter’s’ qualifications to the individual states to decide. Politics, prejudice, and fear of violence disenfranchised many.

Constitutional amendments enacted after the Civil War extended the right to vote to various segments of the American population. Additional amendments forbade the denial of a person’s right to vote based on birth, race, color, and previous condition of servitude, failure to pay poll or other taxes, or duration of residency in a voting district. The two major parties then began to require voters to designate party preference to vote in the primary elections and also devised a method to exclude smaller parties from participating in the primaries with rules that mandated a party requirement of minimal voter designation to be considered a valid party. The use of statutes regarding the filing of intent and nomination papers is also used.

Women’s suffrage was granted by the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919. In 1971, the voting age was lowered to 18 years of age by the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.

Now here I am wondering; why can’t independent voters vote as independents in the primary election?

Myth number one – The primary election is for the parties to select a representative from their own party – Well if that is so then way can’t the Libertarian Party vote in the primary to select candidates from their own party? The Libertarian Party has met the credential of registered members of party to be listed on the ballot in all 50 states – but only in the general election. So it can’t be about party.

MYTH number two – That a voter has to belong to a party to vote in the primary election – 38 states disagree…Neither the Constitution of any state or the Federal Constitution requires a voter or a candidate to designate a party preference to vote or run for office. In fact until 1832 were there two official parties and not until after the civil war was voters required to designate party preference and the requirement for independent candidates to belong to a party to run in a primary election.

The insinuation of open election laws that limit a voter to voting for either the democrat or republican candidate suggest that a voter needs to belong to a party to vote when simply the statute that exempts an independent candidate from filing their intent and nomination papers at the same time as the republican and democrats parties is the only barrier preventing independent voter from voting in the primary of their own substance – Independent voters to vote for independent candidates in the primary.

MYTH number three – A candidate needs to belong to a party to run in the primary election – There is no such thing as a fair and level election but every candidate has the right to run unobstructed by state and federal law. The state law that diminishes independent candidates to the status of obscurity violates the 1965 Voters Rights Act.

MYTH number four – that the two party systems is the best form – The two parties are controlled by the national party committees – do you know who they are? A minority of delegates determines domestic and international party policy. Our founders warned us against the letting the parties become the dominate power over congress and state. They have placed party agenda above the Constitution and people. Parties have been, ignored and by-passed law to get their objective with arrogant disregard to the consequence to the country and to the people. It’s time to challenge this power you need only to sign the petition and show your support…I’ll take care of the rest.

Filed Under: No Affiliation Alliance Voter News

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