Higdon Says He’ll Try Again With Open Primary Bill

by Tony McVeigh on March 1, 2011

An attempt to open Kentucky’s closed primary elections has been rejected by a House committee.

Under current law, Democrats vote for Democrats on primary day and Republicans vote for Republicans. Crossing party lines is not permitted until the general election. A bill sponsored by Senator Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon would let registered independents cast primary votes for Democrats or Republicans, but the measure fell one vote short of passage.

“Right now it’s an educational process. Every year that we’ve worked with the bill, we’ve gathered more support and I think in the foreseeable future this could very well happen in Kentucky,” he says.

Higdon’s bill cleared the Senate last month 23-13. Higdon says he will be back next year, because there are 200,000 registered independents in Kentucky who want to fully participate in the state’s electoral process.

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