While all the hubbub was going on about veto overrides and tomato sandwiches, a House committee on elections was quietly working this week on changes to election laws. Here’s an especially interesting section of the bill currently known as S747:
Get that? “Section 17” of this new bill “require[s]” — REQUIRES — unaffiliated voters be allowed to participate in party primaries of their choosing.
Opening or closing primaries has long been an issue of debate between conservatives and establishment types in the NCGOP. It came up in the recent controversially-concluded state chairman race between John Kane and Michael Whatley. In one of our posts on this issue, Dallas Woodhouse – Renfield for the NCGOPe – boasted that the General Assembly leadership would simply vote to require open primaries and end this discussion for all intents and purposes. It looks like they are in the midst of doing just that.
Open primaries work to the benefit of the non ideological political operatives. They water down debates and elections. And they usually open the floodgates to more leftist voters to outvote more conservative ones. California and Colorado did this kind of thing. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I worked in DC, California had many a great US House conservative and Colorado had a long-time Helms-like US senator named Bill Armstrong. Since codifying open primaries, there is nary a conservative outside of a GOP primary in either state.
Imagine the mischief that could be perpetrated in the 2024 governor’s race. Josh Stein pretty well has the Democrat nomination for governor wrapped up. The GOP, however, has a crowded field for governor AND lieutenant governor. Imagine the mischief a bunch of Dem voters could do if they reregistered as Unaffiliated and voted in the GOP primary.
Why allow a bunch of people with no vested interest in a party help pick the party’s nominees? It’s not far off from opening your front door and allowing all your neighbors in to have a “vote” on family decisions.
Why bother even registering in parties? Why bother with annoyances like platforms?
Democrats should decide who participates in their processes. As should Republicans or even Libertarians. Stuff like this “Section 17” is shenanigans by insiders who hate ideology and principles but LOOOOOOOOVE ‘pay to play’ opportunities. All organizations — whether companies, states, countries, or political parties — need a mission statement or some sort of guiding principles. Otherwise, they are easily co-opted or collapsed.