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Open vs. Closed Primary

Published on 2/18/2016
Orange County has 693,026 registered voters including Democrat, Republican, Other, and NPA (No Party Affiliation).

Thirty percent of them will be locked out of voting in the upcoming March 15 Presidential Primary.

"All Municipal Elections are open to all voters in that municipality. Only voters who are registered with the Republican Party or Democratic Party may vote in the Republican or Democratic Primary for President.
(Chapter 101.021, Florida Statutes).
Florida is a closed primary state, unlike New Hampshire and 21 other states. Did you know that in Orange County 40% of Millennials are registered with no party affiliation and that in our last primary, only 14% of registered voters bothered to vote.

Are closed primaries a factor in this small number? Do other states with open primaries have a large percentage voting? Would open primaries mean a more moderate candidate might be elected? Did you know that there are at least 5 different types of open primaries around the country?

In an effort to answer these questions, the Orange County League of Women Voters has initiated a statewide study on Open Primaries. We are currently interviewing local stakeholders, political party heads, millennials, as well as other states and experts in this field. Stay tuned for more information and if you want to participate, contact Michele R. Levy, the Study Chairperson.