List of States with Open and Closed Primaries

 Primaries: Open and Closed

Open primaries (or pick-a-party) are those in which voters of any affiliation may vote for the slate of any party.

Closed primaries are those in which only the voters affiliated with a party may vote in its primary.

Blanket primaries (or “jungle primaries”) are those in which voters, regardless of affiliation, may choose the party primary in which they want to vote on an office-by-office basis. The blanket primary was struck down in 2001 by the Supreme Court in CA Democratic Party v. Jones.

The following is a running list of states by primary type: open, potentially closed, or with special provisions. We say “potentially” because these states require voters to affiliate by party, which allows parties the option to close their primaries.

Please contact mailto:info@fairvote.org?Subject=Open%20and%20closed%20primaries%20page with any questions.

State Closed Open Other Remarks
Alabama x
Alaska x Blanket primary for four of five registered parties. Republicans use closed primary.
Arizona x
Arkansas x Voter must vote in runoff primary of same party.
California x
Colorado x
Connecticut x
Delaware x
District of Columbia x
Florida x
Georgia x Voter must vote in runoff primary of same party.
Hawaii x
Idaho x
Illinois x Must vote in primary of same party as last primary vote. Loosely enforced.
Indiana x
Iowa x Voter may change registration at polls.
Kansas x
Kentucky x
Louisiana x “Effectively open. Top-two runoff system (\””cajun primary\””) used. Closed primary used for Congressional races after 2006.”
Maine x
Maryland x
Massachusetts x
Michigan x
Minnesota x
Mississippi x
Missouri x
Montana x
Nebraska x
Nevada x
New Hampshire x
New Jersey x
New Mexico x
New York x
North Carolina x
North Dakota x
Ohio x Must vote in primary of same party as last primary vote. Loosely enforced.
Oklahoma x
Oregon x
Pennsylvania x
Rhode Island x
South Carolina x Voter must vote in runoff primary of same party.
South Dakota x
Tennessee x
Texas x Voter must vote in runoff primary of same party.
Utah x Currently only Republicans close primary.
Vermont x
Virginia x
Washington x
West Virginia x Currently only Democrats close primary.
Wisconsin x
Wyoming x

23 Responses to “List of States with Open and Closed Primaries”

  1. steven slaton Says:

    when did arizona closed its Primary. it was open just last week?

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  6. TARMANCER Says:

    Thanks for providing this useful info. I learned what I needed to know. Ron Paul 2012. Hope that’s ok.

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  9. maven2379 Says:

    Just to let you know I registered to vote in Louisiana, and I can’t vote for Ron Paul tomorrow!! They tell me it’s a “closed” primary it sucks but what ya gonna do. I guess I’ll write his name in on the actual election!!

  10. Linda Kremmel Says:

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  11. Bill Silver Says:

    I was told that Florida has a “universal” Primary. What is that?
    Bill

  12. ben Says:

    Maine actually has option for parties to choose open primary.

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  16. Vicky Says:

    This isn’t right. Indiana had a closed primary.

  17. Verne Horsley Says:

    And California had an open primary.

  18. Jo Ann Sciacca Says:

    If I am reading this correctly I prefer a closed primary. All states should have the same policy. Correct me if I am wrong. For example, Republicans should not be allowed to vote in a Democratic primary because the vote would be for the worst Democratic candidate so that he will loose against the best Republican candidate and visa versa.

  19. Kate Kunert Says:

    Open Primary is what just ‘Cootered’ Eric Cantor. The Dem’s voted for the Republican knowing he can’t win in November. Sounds like viable tactic for Democrats since most of the Open Primary states are red. Just sayin’.

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  23. David J Gill Says:

    California is listed incorrectly. California now has a SINGLE, bi-partisan or multi-partisan open primary. …I believe for all elections.

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