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

32 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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  4. Ana Says:

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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.

  7. Changing your party? - Grasscity.com Forums Says:

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    […] can start finding out about your state by clicking here. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  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:

    I not to mention my guys have been following the nice advice found on your website while at once I had an awful feeling I had not expressed respect to the site owner for them. These guys were so joyful to see all of them and already have in fact been taking pleasure in them. Thank you for really being simply considerate as well as for getting such important themes most people are really wanting to be informed on. Our own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.

  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’.

  20. Chris McDaniel Loss in the Primary - Page 2 - Defending The Truth Political Forum Says:

    […] List of States with Open and Closed Primaries | Grassroots Idaho GOP  […]

  21. Flawed Primaries | The Hendrix Delano Says:

    […] https://grassrootsidgop.wordpress.com/list-of-states-with-open-and-closed-primaries/ […]

  22. McDaniel Cites Private Polling and Own Math in Case Against Cochran Says:

    […] has open primaries. Period. These people were legally allowed to vote, and did based off of the nature of the […]

  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.

  24. Why Every AMERICAN Must Vote! - Dr. Rich Swier Says:

    […] The local primary is the most important federal election of all. Bottom up government begins at the primaries. Who we have to choose from in a general election is decided at the primary earlier in the year. People complain that they only have people to vote against in the general election. But this is only true because voter turnout is lowest in the primaries. Further, because many states have open primaries, allowing the political enemy to cross party lines in the primary and help select our candidates for the general election. CLOSE THE PRIMARIES! […]

  25. Why Every AMERICAN Must Vote! - Capitol Hill Outsider Says:

    […] The local primary is the most important federal election of all. Bottom up government begins at the primaries. Who we have to choose from in a general election is decided at the primary earlier in the year. People complain that they only have people to vote against in the general election. But this is only true because voter turnout is lowest in the primaries. Further, because many states have open primaries, allowing the political enemy to cross party lines in the primary and help select our candidates for the general election. CLOSE THE PRIMARIES! […]

  26. Why Every LEGAL AMERICAN Must Vote! Says:

    […] enemy to cross party lines in the primary and help select our candidates for the general election. CLOSE THE PRIMARIES! III. Second to the primaries is the mid-term election, wherein the balance of congressional power […]

  27. GUEST EDITORIAL | Liberty North: The Soupcoff Report Says:

    […] II.        The local primary is the most important federal election of all. Bottom up government begins at the primaries. Who we have to choose from in a general election is decided at the primary earlier in the year. People complain that they only have people to vote against in the general election. But this is only true because voter turnout is lowest in the primaries. Further, because many states have open primaries, allowing the political enemy to cross party lines in the primary and help select our candidates for the general election. CLOSE THE PRIMARIES! […]

  28. Dean Black Says:

    How valid is a general election if only some voters have a say in who will be on the ballot in that general election.

  29. 5 Convincing Reasons Why Democrats (And Independents) Should Vote In The GOP Primary | Thought Catalog Says:

    […] why waste your vote? Cross over to the other side and vote in the GOP primary. Many states have an open primary so this takes no more effort than crossing the aisle on primary day. For other states you can […]

  30. Voter Registration Deadline - May 20th - Chris Shotter Says:

    […]  Pennsylvania is a closed primary state.  This restricts voters of essentially only the Democratic and Republican party to […]

  31. One in Five Millennials Describe Themselves as Libertarian Says:

    […] libertarians, many young people are not identified with a political party and may be unable to vote in a primary election if the state has closed […]

  32. Nancy Baker-Hobin Says:

    Rhode Island allows voters to register as Democrat, Republican, or Unaffiliated. Once registered as Unaffiliated, after 90days, a person may vote in either a Democratic or the Republican primary. Once that person has voted, and depending on whether they voted for a Democratic or Republican, they are subsequently automatically switched into the party of the candidate for whom they voted. After voting, the person may immediately switch back to Unaffiliated by completing a new registration form at the voting station. It is important for voters to know that a new request to change party preference will take 90 days to become effective. Also, once a voter in Rhode Island has registered as Unaffiliated, and later on votes in a Democratic or Republican primary, the voter continues to be a member of the party of the candidate for whom they voted and is subsequently automatically eligible to vote for future candidates in that party. My advice for those who are uncertain whether they are eligible to vote for Bernie in the Democratic primary, that they contact their local Board of Canvassers for clarification so they can take the appropriate action NOW. Each state has its own voter registration and voting laws. Don’t assume that rules that apply in one state are identical to another.

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