Thursday, July 03, 2008

Idaho independents file intervention in closed primary lawsuit

Idaho Statesman

Eleven voters from Idaho who aren’t affiliated with a political party said they filed paperwork in federal court hoping to help the state of Idaho fend off efforts by the Republican Party to close the state’s GOP primary elections.

The residents, as well as two groups, the American Independent Movement of Idaho and the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, argue they’ll be deprived of their right to vote if the Republican Party wins its lawsuit against Idaho in U.S. District Court.

A judge still must decide whether to allow them to intervene.

Mitch Campbell, founder of the American Independent Movement of Idaho, says he’s “looking for free choice” and believes every person should have the right to vote for the candidate of his or her choice in every election.


Steve Rankin said...

The Idaho law which the Republicans are challenging forces each party to let any voter participate in its primary. If the lawsuit is successful, each party will then be able to determine who votes in its primary.

The purpose of a party primary, of course, is to nominate a party's candidates. If (1) a non-member wants to vote in a party's primary, and (2) that party does not invite non-members to do so, that voter should simply join the party.

Voters who steadfastly refuse to join a party have no business helping to nominate that party's candidates-- unless the party invites them to do so.

N. Hanks said...

Steve, you are indeed a party man in a land of voters! But thanks for your comment.

Steve Rankin said...

Actually, Nancy, I have voted for Democrats, Republicans, third-party candidates, and independents. If my state ever adopts party registration, I'll very likely register as an independent.

What I've expressed above is based on the trend in the federal courts since the 1970s, which is toward greater autonomy for the parties. Sooner or later, a state-mandated open primary-- possibly Idaho's-- will reach the US Supreme Court. I'm convinced that the court will nullify it; to do otherwise would be to reverse the high court's own reasoning from the 2000 California blanket-primary case.

You must not consider political parties to be all bad, since you've been involved with the Independence Party.