Tennessee GOP backs resolution for closed primary elections
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Republican Party officials have passed a resolution in support of asking voters to pick a party affiliation and close primary elections to party voters.
The state GOP Executive Committee voted Saturday for the suggestions to the Republican-led Legislature.
Tennessee voters don't register with political parties. They pick the primary ballot of their choice. Tennessee law requires primary voters to be "bona fide" party members or willing to "declare allegiance" to the party.
State GOP chairman Scott Golden said closing primaries would help maintain election integrity and elect the best-qualified Republicans.
Tennessee Democratic Party Chairwoman Mary Mancini said Tennesseans, including independent voters, shouldn't have to pick parties to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Tennessee is among six states with partially open primaries.
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