Josh Marshall on New York's closed primary system

New York, We Suck, Part #2:

For myself, I can see the arguments for open and closed primaries. Some of this is simply Sanders' supporters seeing anything that is tactically disadvantageous to Sanders at a given moment being history's greatest injustice; in fairness, Clinton's supporters didn't [sic] the exact same thing in 2008 as they faced the prospect of defeat. But it is also another example of the way in which our current voting system simply cannot long withstand the stresses of heavily contested elections. The Nation has a thundering headline that 27 Percent of New York Registered Voters Won't Be Able to Vote in the State's Primary. Sounds terrible. But this might more accurately be written as 27% of New York's voters are registered either as independents or with one of New York's minor parties and can't vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries. As I said, if you decided to switch your voter registration back in November but couldn't because you'd missed the October deadline, that's a separate issue. But setting the deadline aside, this does force us to ask just what people are trying to do or doing when they register to vote and choose to register with one political party or no political party. In practice, the only effect of registering with a party is to be able to vote in its primaries. You're not promising to vote for that party. So if you're really upset about not being to vote in a primary, why register independent? (That's not a dig or rhetorical question.)

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