As the primary season in New York comes to a close, with real estate mogul Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning the night for the Republicans and the Democrats, respectively, one of the more lingering questions is whether to have open or closed primaries.
New York has a closed primary system, meaning only voters who are registered with a certain political party may vote in that party’s primary. That left millions of independent voters out of the race entirely, making many call instead for an open primary, in which voters are not required to declare an affiliation before casting a vote in a single party’s primary race.
If they had gotten involved earlier, those independents did have methods to participate in Tuesday’s primary, if they so desired. Their deadlines to register with the Board of Elections passed in October.
Our editorial board does not support an open primary. People not affiliated with an institution should not have equal rights to its members to decide how that institution should run and who should lead it.
An open primary also leaves room for abuse. The voting system in New York — and nationwide — has already seen its fair share of that, with issues like dead people somehow casting ballots in presidential races. In an open primary, less honest people would vote for the weakest candidate in one party just so the nominee they support in the opposite party has a better shot at winning. That’s not fair and it’s not the way our system should work.
New York’s primary voting system is best in its current form. Let’s leave the party votes in the hands of its actual members.